US provides $5m-reward for Colombian ELN insurgent chief

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Members of the Ernesto Che Guevara front, belonging to the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas, shoot during a training in the jungle, in Choco department in Colombia, on May 26, 2019

picture copyrightGetty Photos

picture captionThe ELN rebels finance themselves primarily by drug trafficking

America is providing a reward of as much as $5 million (£3.9m) for info resulting in the arrest of a pacesetter of the Nationwide Liberation Military (ELN) insurgent group in Colombia.

Writing on Twitter, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described the ELN insurgent, Wilver Villegas Palomino, as an “indicted narcoterrorist”.

Mr Pompeo’s tweet comes two days after he visited Colombia.

The ELN is a Marxist insurgent group which has been lively for greater than 50 years.

The US accuses Wilver Villegas Palomino, 38, of involvement in “an ongoing 20-year conspiracy to distribute cocaine from Colombia to america” to finance the ELN.

picture copyrightFBI

In his tweet, Mr Pompeo stated that the US was “dedicated to serving to the Colombian authorities disrupt and dismantle transnational felony organizations working within the area”.

His tweet echoed the assist Mr Pompeo had expressed for Colombia’s President Iván Duque after their assembly on Saturday.

Key details: ELN

  • The two,000-strong guerrilla group was based in 1964 to combat in opposition to Colombia’s unequal distribution of land and riches, impressed by the Cuban revolution of 1959
  • Over the many years, the group has attacked massive landholders and multinational corporations, and repeatedly blown up oil pipelines
  • To finance itself it has resorted to extortion, kidnappings and drug trafficking
  • It has been strongest in rural areas
  • It’s thought of a terrorist group by Colombia, america and the European Union

In 2016, President Duque’s predecessor in workplace Juan Manuel Santos signed a peace cope with one other of Colombia’s left-wing insurgent teams, the Farc, however negotiations with the ELN stalled and when Mr Duque got here to workplace he put them on maintain.

Hopes of renewing the negotiations had been dashed in January 2019 when an ELN insurgent drove a van laden with explosives into the grounds of a police academy within the capital Bogotá, killing 21 police cadets.

The federal government additionally suspects the ELN of being behind numerous current mass killings in south-western Nariño province, together with that of eight younger partygoers in August, however the ELN has denied any involvement.

Associated Matters

  • Colombia

  • Iván Duque
  • Mike Pompeo
  • United States



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