ELN News

ELN Kidnapping on Venezuela Border Could Impact Peace Talks

ELN Kidnapping on Venezuela Border Could Impact Peace Talks

A Colombian guerrilla group has reportedly kidnapped nearly a dozen rice farmers and is holding them hostage in Venezuela, a sign of increasing militant activity along the border that could have implications for an ongoing peace process.  

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The National Liberation Army (Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional - ELN) is one of the two main guerrilla armies with left-wing political ideologies operating in Colombia. Initially a Marxist-Leninist nationalist movement, it now appears more focused on kidnapping, extortion and attacks on economic infrastructure. And while it eschewed drug trafficking for decades, it has recently been linked to the narcotics trade and has sought alliances with large drug trafficking organizations. Militarily, it has been greatly debilitated and has dropped from an estimated 5,000 soldiers in the early 1990s to a force believed to number around 2,500 fighters.

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