The International Committee of the Red Cross in Colombia reported on Thursday the release of three Colombians who were holding the National Liberation Army guerrilla hostage in the southeast of the country.
In a statement, the ICRC indicated that it received the hostages and assessed their health. He added that the three are in good condition after staying more than a month in the power of the guerrilla group. He did not disclose their identities.
“We are pleased that these three people can rediscover freedom and return to their loved ones. We thank the parties for the trust they placed in the ICRC, as a neutral and humanitarian intermediary, to facilitate this release,” said Manuel Duce Marques, head of the ICRC sub-delegation in the city of Cali.
On March 17, the ELN released a minor who was handed over to the Ombudsman’s Office and to an ICRC commission in a rural area in the department of Arauca, on the border with Venezuela. After being medically evaluated, the young man was released to his relatives.
Since July, the ELN has carried out several attacks, especially against the military and police, in addition to committing kidnappings and attacking the infrastructure of the state oil company Ecopetrol dozens of times.
The ELN began peace talks with the government of former President Juan Manuel Santos (2010-2018) in 2017 in Cuba, although both parties were never able to agree to a ceasefire.
Dialogues with current President Iván Duque are frozen. The president has said on several occasions that until the ELN releases all the people it has kidnapped and stops committing attacks, they will not dialogue again.
The group was born in 1965 as a political project inspired by the Cuban revolution and currently has some 2,400 fighters, according to the commander of the military forces, General Luis Navarro.