National Freedom Army (ELN) rebels on Thursday denied planning an attack on Colombia’s capital Bogota, in spite of a caution from Cuba.
However the leftist guerrillas insisted they would not renounce “military action” versus the state.
Colombia’s Defense Minister Diego Molano reported on Monday that Cuba had actually tipped off the federal government about a plan by the ELN, Colombia’s last remaining active armed rebels, to attack Bogota in the “next couple of days.”
On Wednesday, Bogota Mayor Claudia Lopez said the capital was taking the hazard “very seriously” and had stepped up security.
” After verifying with all guerrilla structures … we clarify that the info received by the Cuban embassy in Bogota is not part of the ELN’s military plans,” the rebels’ high command said in a statement.
It included, however, that it would be “naive” to anticipate the rebels to cease their armed operations.
The National Freedom Army (ELN) is the last active rebel group operating in Colombia AFP/ Luis ROBAYO
” This should be set up around a negotiating table with an equivalent habits on the part of the state,” said the ELN declaration.
The ELN speculated that the Colombian intelligence services lagged the caution released by the Cuban embassy with the goal of attributing attacks to the guerrillas to increase global pressure on their delegation based in Cuba.
Because 2018, Havana has actually hosted an ELN delegation that was negotiating a peace deal with former president Juan Manuel Santos (2010-2018).
However conservative President Ivan Duque called off the talks following an automobile bomb attack on an authorities academy in January 2019 that killed 22.
Ever since, Duque has required Cuba extradite the rebels on its territory to Colombia, however the island nation has actually declined.
The administration of previous US president Donald Trump consisted of that as a reason for putting Cuba back on a list of countries that sponsor terrorism.
The ELN has around 2,300 fighters and a comprehensive support network in city centers.