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Columbia. Guerrillas from the National Liberation Army (ELN) released all 26 hostages

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Colombian National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels said they had released all 26 hostages as part of an agreement with the Colombian government. Negotiations with the government have been ongoing for several weeks.

Rebels from the Colombian guerrilla group National Liberation Army (ELN) said they had released all 26 hostages. Their release is the result of an agreement with the administration of President Gustavo Petro. “The high command issued an order to release all those imprisoned for commercial purposes, and all ELN units carried out the order,” wrote the Colombian guerrilla authorities in a statement quoted on Friday on the website of the weekly Semana published in Bogota.

In December, Minister of Defense Colombia Ivan Velazquez estimated that 38 people were kidnapped for ransom and imprisoned by the ELN. A month later, he put the number of those imprisoned by the rebels at 26. According to the rebels’ declarations, ELN members also agreed in an agreement with the Colombian authorities to stop kidnappings throughout the country.

Guerrillas of the Colombian National Liberation Army Reuters Archive

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Negotiations with partisans

In recent weeks, negotiations have been held between the Colombian authorities and the ELN command, during which the guerrillas have pledged to continue dialogue with the government. The next meeting is scheduled to take place in April.

Colombian authorities estimate that the ELN organization, which refers to the views of Latin American revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, includes over 2,400 armed men.

For over two years, the ELN has been fighting in Colombia against former guerrillas of the so-called left-wing militant organization. Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Both groups are considered to be structures linked to drug smugglers.

Main photo source: Reuters Archive

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