EOS Alerts 9-5-2017
Colombia: ELN Rebels Kidnap Eight People in an Isolated Region
500 extra troops deployed to Choco Department after suspected ELN rebels kidnap 8 people
The Colombian government has accused the country’s second largest rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), of kidnapping eight people in an isolated part of the country. The army reported that the gunmen forced the hostages into a boat and have taken them deep into the jungle in Choco Department. A rescue operation is currently underway, with an additional 500 soldiers having been deployed to the area, adding to the 6300 already stationed there. Peace negotiations began with the ELN in February and they are set to continue in Ecuador next month. The government has demanded that the ELN stop kidnapping people for financial gain, which they frequently do. The talks with the group follow a peace agreement between the government and Colombia's largest rebel group, the FARC, last year.
Those operating or residing in Colombia are advised to contract a local reliable guide when travelling in the above-mentioned areas, due to the credible threat of kidnapping and violence. Vary your itineraries and avoid government personnel when travelling in Choco Department, as clashes between ELN rebels and other criminal groups are likely to continue in the near and medium term.