Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
One of the most wanted leaders of the Colombian guerrillas has died in a bombing orchestrated by the Colombian National Air Force and a special division of the army in a rural area in the country.
The bombing reportedly took place in the town of Montecristo in the Bolivar Department in northern Colombia.
According to the minister of defence, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, one of the most wanted leaders of the National Liberation Army (ELN) nicknamed ‘Mocho Tierra’ died during the bombing alongside three of his lieutenants, who have not been named.
Reports state that 20 terrorists died in the bombing but only Mocho Tierra and his three lieutenants have been confirmed dead by the Ministry of Defense.
The Colombian government had offered a bounty for Moncho Tierra of 630 million COP (132,195 GBP) as he was believed to be responsible for organizing terrorist attacks in the departments of Antioquia and Bolivar.
Holmes Trujillo said: “An arduous and detailed work of intelligence of the National Army allowed the location and action of the Colombian Air Force and the Special Forces of the National Army on a camp located in the area.”
The ministry of defences also added that Moncho Tierra had been a member of the guerrillas for more than 27 years and currently headed three ELN fronts.
The deceased guerrilla leader was reportedly in charge of administrating at least 4,000 million COP (839,333 GBP) every month supposedly obtained in drug trafficking and the illicit exploitation of mining deposits in the region.
The ELN reportedly declared a unilateral ceasefire for April because of the COVID-19 pandemic but they did not extend it.
Although the Colombian government signed a peace deal with the guerrilla group FARC in November 2016 the ELN and dissidents of FARC have continued violent activities in the region with Colombian President Ivan Duque unwilling to negotiate unless they stop this violence.
In January 2019 the ELN claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack on a Bogota police academy that resulted in 22 dead students.
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