The ELN, the guerrilla group in Colombia, confirmed on Thursday the death of Commander Uriel, one of its main leaders killed in a military operation in the northwest of the country on Sunday, and promised to honor the fall in combat of this “authentic guerrilla”.
“With revolutionary pain we confirm the fall of comrade Uriel, who gave his life with great dignity for the great ideals of transformation, social justice, sovereignty and the future of humanity,” the the National Liberation Army (ELN) said in a statement.
“The fall of Uriel commits us even more to the purposes of change in Colombia and to the noblest causes of humanity, that is the greatest honor and recognition that we render to him,” added the insurgent group.
Uriel, who had been with the ELN for more than 25 years, acknowledged the successes of his group, including their participation in demonstrations in Bogotá on September 9 and 10 against police brutality, in which at least 13 people were killed, and at least 75 Police Immediate Attention Centers (CAI) were burned down. Uriel’s legacy of work also included the car bombing carried out in January 2019 against a cadet school in Bogota.
“A true guerrilla has fallen and neither he nor the other true fighters expect praise or clemency,” added the ELN.
Recognized as the last guerrilla group in Colombia after the peace agreement that led to the disarmament of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the ELN, which emerged in 1964 in the heat of the Cuban Revolution, has about 2,300 combatants in the country and an extensive network of urban support.