ELN frees soldiers kidnapped in Arauca on November 1

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The subversive group with which dialogue is being restored released Luifer Aldey Mejía and Fernando Urrego after 16 days in captivity

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ELN frees kidnapped soldiers in Arauca on November 1

Moment of handing over kidnapped ELN soldiers to delegates from the Ombudsman's Office.

This Wednesday, November 16, it was learned that the guerrilla group the National Liberation Army (ELN) released the professional soldiers < b>Luifer Aldey Mejía and Fernando Urrego Rayo, whom he had kidnapped since last November 1 in the rural area of ​​Arauca, when the military dressed in civilian clothes and were enjoying their vacations.< /p>

The relatives of the two soldiers denounced that they had not arrived at their homes and were waiting for them. Urrego Rayo, belonging to the Special Energy and Road Battalion No. 16, was supposed to arrive in Chaparral (Tolima) and did not. “However, according to what was reported by the family, his brother would have repeatedly tried to communicate by telephone with him since he left, but to this day he has not received a response, nor has he reached the house of his relatives,” the complaint read.

Private Mejía, for his part, left the Artillery Battalion No. 18 General José María Mantilla bound for his home in Granada (Meta). Seeing that he did not arrive, his family tried to communicate by telephone and received no response either.

On Wednesday the 9th, the insurgent group confirmed that it had the two soldiers in its possession. Through a statement, he assured that they were detained in the Flor Amarillo farmhouse, in the municipality of Tame. In the letter he warned that “any offensive rescue action will put the lives of the prisoners at risk and any fatal outcome will not be our responsibility.”

Once said statement was made known, the The Army warned that it would file complaints against the ELN before national and international organizations. “Luifer Mejia Beltrán and Fernando Urrego Rayo were traveling in civilian clothes and in a defenseless state to enjoy the moral, rest and well-being plan with their families in their cities of origin,” the institution detailed.

“This reprehensible act is a violation of human rights and infringement of the provisions of international humanitarian law and a serious crime classified as a crime against humanity”, the statement said. Likewise, it held the ELN responsible for the safety and physical integrity of the professional soldiers. “We will continue to provide support and accompaniment to the families of our soldiers, since the kidnapping causes them anguish, sadness and desolation,” he added.

The ELN stated that, during captivity, the soldiers were receiving “treatment according to the war conditions we live in” and that he would hand them over to a human rights organization. Indeed, in the photographs that became known of the liberation, it can be seen that the mediators are part of the Ombudsman's Office.

This release occurs the same day that the High Commissioner for Peace, Danilo Rueda, announced the immediate reactivation of the negotiating table between the subversives and the Colombian State. The news came after President Gustavo Petro mentioned from Paris that the peace talks are close to resuming.

According to Rueda, thanks to the “accompaniment of the guarantor countries, We complied with the reactivation of the protocols agreed between the State and the National Liberation Army to resume peace talks.” The senior official recalled from his official Twitter account that the resumption of the dialogues occurred just after the first 100 days of the progressive government that came to power.

“Today we are ad portas of the reactivation of the negotiating table. #100DiasDeCambio”, said the high commissioner. For its part, the news program Noticias Caracol assured that Rueda would travel to Venezuela next Saturday, November 16, which would be the stage where the dialogues with the Colombian guerrillas would be restarted.