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News > Colombia

The ELN Lifted the Armed Strike in Colombia

  • ELN members navigate a Colombian river, 2024.

    ELN members navigate a Colombian river, 2024. | Photo: X/ @IvanCepedaCast

Published 14 February 2024

This measure was taken to safeguard the life of the population, the National Liberation Arm said.

On Tuesday, the National Liberation Army (ELN) lifted the armed strike in the Choco department, where 27,000 people had limitations on free movement since Feb. 9.


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The ELN's Omar Gomez Western War Front imposed this measure in response to the activities that paramilitary groups carry out against the civilian population in El Choco, a department historically affected by conflict and state abandonment.

"This measure was taken to safeguard the life and integrity of the non-combatant population," the ELN said about the five-day armed strike.

The Colombian government itself labeled the measure as "an act of disloyalty" by the guerrillas to the agreements reached in the ongoing peace talks, as just a week ago, it was agreed to extend the bilateral ceasefire until August 3.

"The ELN's declaration of an 'armed strike' is an act of disloyalty to the agreements reached in the sixth cycle of talks in Havana, as it threatens the lives, rights, freedoms of the inhabitants of the department, the exercise of democratically elected governments, and the mandate of community authorities," said Otty Patiño, Colombia's High Commissioner for Peace.

In response to those claims, the ELN insisted that the far-right paramilitaries "aim to continue their counter-insurgency war, now subsidized or disguised war, to constrain the ELN guerrillas with the intention of subduing it."

"The armed strike being carried out in Choco by the Western War Front is a protective measure against aggression and subjugation operations oriented and supported by the military and executed by paramilitary gangs against the communities of the region," the ELN claimed.


Otty Patiño
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