Tag: ELN

March 8, 2020

March 8, 2020
  • The bodies of 13 people are found in Palmarito, outside the city of Cúcuta, and across the border in Venezuela. The massacre is believed to be the result of fighting between the ELN and the Rastrojos—the remnant of a once much stronger post-paramilitary group—for control of cross-border smuggling routes. “The most conservative estimates,” Semana reports, “say that this war has left 37 dead in recent months.”

Tags: Borders, ELN, Organized Crime, Security Deterioration, Venezuela Crisis

February 24, 2020

February 24, 2020
  • The government’s high commissioner for peace, Miguel Ceballos, says that some factions of the ELN have been sending messages to the government indicating a willingness to negotiate. He mentions a leader, alias “Lenin,” who apparently supports reducing attacks on the Caño Limón-Coveñas oil pipeline.

Tags: ELN, ELN Negotiations, High Commissioner for Peace

February 22, 2020

February 22, 2020
  • Police capture Gerardo Antonio Bermúdez, also known as “Francisco Galán,” a former ELN guerrilla who served as a key link to the group during past efforts to negotiate peace. A judge in Cali seeks to try Galán for his possible role in a September 2000 mass kidnapping on the highway between Cali and Buenaventura.
  • Galán is known as a peace promoter who has served a complete term in prison and has long since abandoned violence. His arrest inspires an outcry across the political spectrum, including a tweet from former President Álvaro Uribe.

Tags: ELN, ELN Negotiations, Justice System

February 13, 2020

February 13, 2020
Photo source: César Carrión, Colombian Presidency

While visiting Montelíbano, Córdoba, President Iván Duque responds to the ELN’s declaration of an “armed strike.” He says, “Colombia is united to confront this criminal group, this terrorist group, these recruiters of minors, these eco-killers.”

Tags: ELN

February 10, 2020

February 10, 2020
  • Chocó-based ELN commander “Uriel” announces on social media that the guerrilla group has declared a new nationwide “armed strike,” prohibiting vehicle travel between February 14 and 17.
  • Most of the country is unaffected by the armed strike, but travel grinds to a halt in areas where the guerrillas have strong influence, like Arauca and Catatumbo. According to InsightCrime, “Colombia saw at least 27 operations by the ELN around the country, including attacks on electrical infrastructure, clashes with the Colombian Army, closures of national highways due to bomb threats, explosive devices left in cities, one sniper attack, as well as numerous graffitis and flags hailing the group.”
  • While visiting Montelíbano, Córdoba on February 13, President Duque responds, “Colombia is united to confront this criminal group, this terrorist group, these recruiters of minors, these eco-killers.”
Photo source: César Carrión, Colombian Presidency
  • The Defendamos la Paz civil-society coalition issues a statement rejecting the ELN’s announcement, contending that “the time for war has passed.”
  • In Medellín, where the ELN was believed responsible for the recent downing of an electrical pylon on the city’s outskirts, authorities reactivated an 80-man Army Special Urban Forces Battalion.
  • Afterward, the ELN issues a communiqué justifying its actions but apologizing for “discomforts caused.”
  • “What we saw last weekend wasn’t a strike, but a threat to the tranquility of some regions of the country,” High Commissioner for Peace Miguel Ceballos says on February 18.

Tags: ELN, Security Deterioration

February 5, 2020

February 5, 2020
  • Alias “Pablito,” the commander of the ELN’s powerful Eastern War Front, issues a communiqué offering to cease the group’s attacks on Colombia’s energy infrastructure if the country meets seven conditions. The conditions are unlikely to receive the Duque government’s serious consideration: they include a 50 percent cut in fuel prices, the elimination of tolls, a sharp increase in social investment using oil revenues, and a suspension of fracking.

Tags: ELN, Energy