A joint Colombian security operation targeted a National Liberation Army (ELN) camp on Thursday morning (local time), May 14, near Montecristo (Bolívar department). The camp was hit by an airstrike before army and police forces moved into the area. According to defense officials, four ELN members were killed in the operation, including a high-level commander. Weapons and communication equipment were also seized by the security forces.
Retaliatory attacks by ELN fighters are possible over the coming days and weeks, as well as further security operations targeting the group.
Peace talks between the government and the ELN, which has conducted an ongoing armed insurgency since the 1960s, were put on hold after President Duque assumed power in 2018. President Duque has previously said he will only resume negotiations with the ELN once the group ceases all attacks and releases all hostages.
Individuals in Bolívar department, and Colombia more generally, are advised to keep abreast of the situation and obey all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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 - some Western governments advise against travel to various parts of the country.
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