The Colombian government demanded that the National Liberation Army (ELN) release all the abductees in its possession, after five hostages held by that guerrilla were released this week in different parts of the Country.
“The ELN must release, unconditionally, all those abducted in its possession,” said the High Commissioner for Peace, Miguel Ceballos, in a tweet where he also held that traders Diana Toro and Octavio Sanchez could “return with their own and share this Christmas.”
Raped in September 2018 and March 2019, Toro and Sanchez spent months in the hands of the country’s last active rebellion, before being released Tuesday in the jungle Chocó department (northwest), according to military intelligence. They are in addition to the children the ELN gave Monday to a commission of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the department of Arauca, bordering Venezuela.
The release of all abducted persons is one of the conditions imposed by President Ivan Duque, together with the cessation of all “criminal activity”, to engage in peace talks with the insurgents.
Recognized as the last guerrilla in the country, following the 2016 Peace Agreement that disarmed the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the ELN has about 2,300 fighters and an extensive support network in urban points.