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  • Andres Vanegas Londono, Choco department, Colombia, 2020.

    Andres Vanegas Londono, Choco department, Colombia, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 26 October 2020 (10 hours 22 minutes ago)
Opinion

Renewed military operations against the National Liberation Army (ELN) mark a new blow to the stalled peace negotiations in Cuba.

Colombia's President Ivan Duque on Sunday announced that one of the top leaders of the National Liberation Army’s (ELN), Andres Vanegas Londoño, was killed during a military operation.

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“I would like to inform the nation that today operation Odin was carried out in which the terrorist named Andres Vanegas Londoño, who went by the name “Uriel” was killed,” said Duque while speaking to the press in Quibdo, Choco.

The ELN has been waging a guerrilla war against the Colombian government since the 1960s, with most of its influence in the poorest areas of the country.

A renewed military operation might signify a blow to the ongoing peace negotiations in Havana, Cuba between the Colombian government and the ELN.

This comes as tensions between the U.S. and Cuba reach their peak, with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announcing new sanctions on Cuba in part for refusing to extradite ELN peace negotiators to Colombia.

The Colombian state signed on to a peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country’s largest left-wing guerrilla, back in 2016. 

That agreement marked the end of a protracted and bloody conflict between the two, successfully demobilizing over 13,000 fighters. 

With president Ivan Duque’s hawkish approach in full swing, the hopes of a peaceful resolution to Colombia’s long civil war are increasingly slim.

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