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Colombia: ELN guerrilla group activity high

National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group maintains high activity levels; attack against military convoy and kidnapping in recent days

21 Jun 10:10 AM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 6/21/2017, 12:00 AM until 6/21/2017, 11:59 PM (America/Bogota). COUNTRY/REGION Tame, Caribbean coast


The National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group continues to be highly active in various parts of the country despite the group's participation in early peace talks with the Colombian government. ELN militants reportedly detonated a roadside bomb targeting members of the Colombian military near Tame on June 15. The attack resulted in one death and three causalities. Furthermore, on June 19, the ELN allegedly kidnapped two Dutch journalists traveling in the Catatumbo region, near the border with Venezuela. Colombian authorities are currently organizing a response to the kidnapping.


These incidents, and various other similar attacks carried out in recent months, do not seem to be jeopardizing ongoing peace talks between the ELN and the government, launched in February 2017. ELN, the country's largest rebel group after the currently demobilizing FARC, is active in various areas of the country including Arauca, Boyacá, Norte de Santander, La Guajira, Cesar, Bolívar, Casanare, Santander, Chocó, Cauca, Nariño, and Putumayo departments, particularly in rural zones. Attacks in Bogotá are rare and the ELN has publicly denounced the June 17 bombing carried out by unknown individuals at a Bogotá mall.

Violence carried out by numerous armed groups in Colombia (leftist guerrillas, organized crime groups, narcotraffickers) typically targets security forces, infrastructure, and the fossil fuels industry; however, civilian casualties can be common.


Due to the presence of a number of armed groups - including organized crime groups, drug cartels, right-wing militias, and local gangs in addition to the ELN - many Western governments advise against travel to various regions of the country (particularly rural zones), with the notable exceptions of the northern Caribbean regions and central areas (including Bogotá).

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