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ELN Guerrillas Kill Colombian Soldier in Cold Blood

By: Julián Villabona Galarza - Jan 9, 2017, 5:51 pm
The ELN are the chief suspects in today's deadly attack on Colombian police (
The ELN are the chief suspects in today’s deadly attack on Colombian police (YouTube).

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A Colombian Army soldier was killed on Monday, January 9 in the municipality of Puerto Jordán in the eastern department of Arauca, by two men traveling on a motorcycle, who murdered the soldier in a drive-by style shooting.

The attack was carried out by suspected members of the Martha Helena Baron commission, which belongs to the Domingo Laín Sáenz front of the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group, according to a statement released by Quirón Task Force  of the Colombian Army.

Read More: The ELN’s Shameless Demands for Peace Talks with Santos
Read More: ELN Guerrilla Kills Two Police Officers in Colombia

The attack occurred while soldiers were carrying out security work in Porto Jordán. According to the statement, two men opened fire on the members of the Army and fled using the civilian population as a shield so as not to be fired upon by the other soldiers who were there.

If it is indeed confirmed that the attack was carried out by the ELN, it could present another major impediment to the peace process that the ELN is seeking to initiate with the government. Despite their assertions that they are seeking peace, they have continued to launch deadly attacks on both the military and police throughout Colombia, a fact that has been criticized by the head of the government’s negotiating team, Juan Camilo Restrepo.

The ELN, while much smaller than its better known counterpart the FARC, has a reputation for even greater radicalism. They are largely concentrated in the country’s northeastern region along the Venezuelan border; especially in the departments of Arauca and Norte de Santander.

If the attack was actually carried out by the ELN, it would represent the second deadly attack in two weeks; since two weeks ago they attacked an electrical substation where a policeman was killed and injured seven others with an explosive device, who were attending to their fallen comrade.

The Santos administration has expressed a willingness to meet with the ELN at the negotiating table.

Source: Blu Radio

Julián Villabona Galarza Julián Villabona Galarza

Julián is a reporter with the PanAm Post with studies in Politics and International Relations from the University Sergio Arboleda in Colombia. Follow him: @julianvillabona.

Obama Will Not Pardon Jailed FARC Leader Simon Trinidad

By: Julián Villabona Galarza - Jan 9, 2017, 5:12 pm
A high-ranking source in the US State Department has denied the possibility of FARC leader Simon Trinidad's release (

Español FARC leader Simon Trinidad will not be pardoned by the government of the United States. This was confirmed by the newspaper El Tiempo after obtaining information from a senior official at the US State Department, who denied any possibility that Obama would release the guerrilla as requested by both the FARC and the Santos administration. Simon Trinidad possible release was first discussed after the guerrillas requested it from the Colombian government. However, it was out of the Colombian government's hands, as Trinidad is currently in a supermax prison in the United States serving a 60 year sentence for the kidnapping of three Americans at the hands of the FARC guerrillas in southeastern Colombia. Read More: Obama Could Pardon Extradited FARC Leader as Part of Peace Deal Read More: Colombia Peace Deal Failing: Guerrilla Leader Says FARC Won't Give up Weapons Although Obama has the legal authority to grant a pardon Trinidad, due to special executive powers in the American legal system, he will not exercise his powers on this occasion, according to reporter Sergio Gómez Maseri, who is the Washington correspondent for El Tiempo, and who had first hand information from a United States government source. Some had hoped that Simon Trinidad could facilitated as a gesture of support from the US government for the Santos-FARC agreement. Simon Trinidad's possible pardon by Obama, who has just 11 days remaining in his presidential term, generated outrage from Republican congressmen like Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham who warned of possible reprisals against the agreement if the the high-ranking guerrilla was released. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); The Republicans mainly threatened to jeopardize the extensive  package of economic aid that the United States plans to offer Colombia in order to finance the implementation of the Santos-FARC agreement. Republicans currently control both the House and the Senate, and have significant power over financial appropriations in the context of foreign policy. Barack Obama was a strong proponent of the Santos-FARC agreement. It remains to be seen how Donald Trump's recent election will impact the ongoing negotiations, which were voted down by the Colombian people, and subsequently approved in an altered form by the Colombian Congress. Source: El Tiempo

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