Soldier Dies After Attack by ELN in Colombia

Published July 5, 2019

ELN

A soldier died after being attacked by ELN guerrillas at a military post in northeastern Colombia on July 3. The successful attack took place near the town of Teorama in the department of Norte de Santander.

The attack took place in retaliation for the counter-insurgency operations carried out in this area of the country in recent days against the ELN by the far-right wing regime of Ivan Duque.

So far this year, seven soldiers have been killed by the ELN in different parts of the country and more than 200 military operations have been carried out against the guerrilla group.

The day before in Havana, the ELN delegation that remains in that country after the freezing of negotiations with the government of President Ivan Duque, said they expect a bilateral ceasefire. The delegation also reported the delivery of documents of the peace process to guarantor countries with the expectation that they serve to restart the talks.

The ELN and the Colombian government began negotiations confidentially in 2014 and since 2017, openly with the government of former President Juan Manuel Santos (2010-2018), who achieved a peace agreement with the now defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Since July 2018, the ELN has carried out several attacks, especially against the military and police, as well as kidnappings and attacks against the oil infrastructure. So far this year, the ELN has attacked the Caño Limón-Coveñas oil pipeline 20 times.

The belligerent president Duque has sabotaged the peace negotiations that were underway with the ELN, ensuring that guerrilla attacks against the state’s military and police forces will continue.

The ELN was born in 1965 as a political project inspired by the Cuban revolution and currently has more than 1,700 combatants.