BOGOTA, Colombia – The government of President Juan Manuel Santos and Colombia's No. 2 rebel group say they're starting a peace process.
The statement published on the Colombian presidency's website says exploratory talks began in January and that the two sides have agreed on an agenda.
The six-paragraph statement does not mention a timeline for formal talks between the National Liberation Army and the government, or say when they might begin.
The announcement comes five days before presidential elections in which Santos is seeking a second term.
His government has been engaged in peace talks with the far larger Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia since November 2012 and the fate of negotiations could hang in the balance Sunday's election