The ELN has announced the release of four police, a police assistant and two petroleum company employees on humanitarian grounds, and lists the conditions on which it will stop attacks against major development projects.
The ELN’s Northeast and Eastern Fronts released seven prisoners over the weekend, four policemen another person who had been assisting them who were captured in Catatumbo (in Colombia’s northeast) while conducting espionage work; and two employees of an oil company who were detained in Arauca. The following are translations of the declarations of the respective fronts explaining their decision to release the prisoners.
Communiqué from the North Eastern Front
The North Eastern War Front Commander in Chief Manuel Pérez Martínez of the Colombian National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN), salutes the fighting communities of Catatumbo, the Northeast region of Colombia, Colombians and the world…
We denounce that within the framework of the military operations in support of the ‘Sustainable Catatumbo Plan’ (Consolidation Plan) that are being carried out in Catatumbo by the 30th Brigade and the Joint Task Force ‘Volcano’, of the II Army Division, five agents of the Colombian State conducting intelligence actions in the framework of counterinsurgency terrorism in Catatumbo were captured and detained by our security and reconnaissance units…
In the National Liberation Army’s War Code, intelligence agents are not covered by the obligation to respect life. However, we have decided to be forgiving and generous, understanding that these agents are manipulated and deceived to carry out intelligence missions, putting at risk the lives of innocent people defending their families, property and territories.
The Colombian National Liberation Army therefore makes a humanitarian gesture and frees the above-registered intelligence agents alive, formally delivering them into the custody of human rights organizations, representatives of the Church and the media, who will return them to their family and friends…
We call on the friends of Peace to demand the right to advance in the construction of peace for the Colombian people and the continent. The ELN reaffirms its commitment to finding a Political Solution to the armed conflict…
The Eastern War Front, Commander in Chief Manuel Vásquez Castaño of the ELN National Liberation Army:
1. Ratify that there will be a cessation of offensive actions against energy mining companies and infrastructure if they comply with the following conditions: remove all energy and mining development projects from Ancestral Territories (Indigenous and Afro-Colombian), Agricultural Zones, Natural Parks, Wetlands and Protected Ecosystems.
Nationalization of oil and the energy and mining industry. Rational exploitation of Natural Resources and Non-privatization of Ecopetrol.
Payment of the Social Debt and return of the Royalties to 20 per cent, as was initially established for the Territorial Entities…
Nationalization of National highways and abolition of Tolls.
Compensation to farmers for the damage caused by the passage of Oil and Gas Pipelines.
Generate a National and Democratic space, to define Policies regarding Energy Mining favourable to the People, the Nation and the Environment.
2. ELN units, on the 3rd of May of this year, in the province of Arauca, captured two technicians … who work for the Russian multinational Boreths, subcontractor of the multinational Oxi.
The ELN, as a humanitarian and goodwill gesture, makes the decision to free those two workers. LINK
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