Colombian rebel groups FARC and ELN have lost 5,374 guerrilla fighters over the course of the last two years, according to an army report delivered to the Defense Ministry on Tuesday.
Among the the lost fighters, army commander General Juan Pablo Rodriguez, said that 24 commanders, 17 from the FARC and 7 from the ELN, were among the “neutralized” or killed rebels.
Last week, President Juan Santos claimed the FARC now counts less than 7,000 guerrillas in its struggle against the government of Colombia. According to Minister of Defense Juan Carlos Pinzon, the FARC currently counts less than 7,200 fighters the ELN counts less than 1,50o.
The Army report also highlighted 20 tons of cocaine and 1,402 cocaine laboratories destroyed throughout the country in the past two years, as well as a 90 percent reduction in illegal aircraft operations.
According to Pinzon, the Amry’s efforts to diminish the FARC and ELN have aided the government’s leveraging power in peace talks with the rebel groups, “Today the armed groups are desperate to find agreements with the government.”