Colombian President Ivan Duque announced on Sunday, October 25, that a senior commander of the National Liberation Army (ELN) was killed in a recent security operation in the Nóvita municipality of the Choco department. The deceased was known under the alias, Uriel, and was reportedly the head of the ELN Western War Front and was killed in a joint effort organized by branches of the National Military and the Attorney General's Office. President Duque stressed that the impact of the killing of Uriel is significant due to his relatively well-known status of broadcasting on social media platforms.
Peace talks between the government and the ELN, which has conducted an ongoing armed insurgency since the 1960s, were put on hold after President Ivan 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.
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, including the Venezuelan border region.
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