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Demonstrators in Medellin demand efforts to continue peace talks between the government and ELN guerrillas Demonstrators in Medellin demand efforts to continue peace talks between the government and ELN guerrillas  (AFP or licensors)

The US offers reward for capture of Colombian rebel leader

The US Government is posting a five million dollars reward for information leading to the capture of a National Liberation Army Leader, which is still fighting an insurgency against the Colombian Government, after more than fifty years.

By James Blears

 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who`s just visited Colombia, is targeting National Liberation Army commander Wilver Villegas Palomino for arrest, offering five million dollars or its equivalent,  for intelligence leading to his capture. 

Wilver is being singled out, due to his alleged involvement in drug trafficking. Pompeo refers to him as a narco terrorist. He`s accused of being a major player in the transportation of cocaine from Colombia to the United States, in order to finance the rebels` continued war against the Colombian State, which has been dragging on since 1964.  Pompeo`s announcement follows a meeting with Colombian President Ivan Duque.

Silver haired Duque, who was born twelve years after this conflict began, broke off peace talks with the ELN last year, after one of their operatives killed 21 people including himself and injured 68 more, in a truck bombing of the General Santander Police Academy, in the Capital Bogota.  The ELN also bombs oil pipelines and kidnaps people to finance, feed and arm its estimated 2,500 guerillas. 

The much larger Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, better known as the FARC, concluded a peace agreement with the Government in 2016 and evolved into a political party.  But the ELN is still continuing its armed campaign.

Listen to the report by James Blears
22 September 2020, 11:35