الجمعة , مايو 21 2021

Colombian army ‘kills ELN commander’

ELN fighters, January 2015

The Marxist-inspired ELN rebel group has about 2,000 members, according to estimates

The Colombian army says it has killed a top commander from the country’s second largest guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army (ELN).

The commander, Jose Amin Hernandez Manrique, known as Marquitos, was killed in the north-western province of Antioquia, the army said.

He commanded 13 ELN units in Antioquia and Bolivar provinces, according to the military.

The region is known for drugs and arms trafficking and illegal mining.

The Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, said on Twitter: “Alias Marquitos, commander of the Dario Martinez front and member of the national leadership of the ELN, has been killed. Congratulations to the armed forces.”

The ELN was founded in 1964 to fight Colombia’s unequal distribution of land and riches. It is estimated to have about 2,000 active fighters.

The ELN has had exploratory talks but has not entered into peace negotiations with the government, unlike the country’s largest left-wing rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

The Farc and the government have been in peace talks in Havana for more than two years.

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