Colombia ELN rebels release soldier ahead of peace talks

Sarah Repko

One of Colombia’s largest rebel groups, Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) or National Liberation Army has after two weeks released the soldier they have been holding hostage. This occurred before planned peace talks with the Colombian government are to take place, but is seen as a kind of reaction to the peace treaty made between FARC and the Colombian government. From the negotiation between the two sides, ELN demanded that two of their members be pardoned and released from prison. The two members of the ELN who were released are said to be present and instrumental in the peace negotiations.

ELN is the second largest rebel group in Colombia, seen mainly in rural areas, behind FARC. Their primary aim was to fight the unequal distribution of land and riches within the nation. The group has attacked large landowners and have even blown up pipelines in the recent decades since their formation in the 1960’s.

“Colombia ELN Rebels Release Soldier Ahead of Peace Talks.” BBC News. BBC, 06 Feb. 2017. Web. 07                  Feb. 2017.