A total of 18 National Liberation Army, or ELN, guerrillas surrendered
to the navy in the northwestern province of Chocó, Colombian President Álvaro
Uribe said Sunday.
“I have news here that 18 from the ELN, pressured by the navy,
surrendered south of Bahia Solano and Nuqui, in Chocó,” Uribe said
Saturday at a community council meeting in Bogota.
said the large surrender was made possible by naval operations in the
coastal area, which is located some 800 kilometers (497 miles)
northwest of the capital.
Uribe discussed the killing in an
ambush Friday of nine police officers by the ELN in Arauca province,
near the border with Venezuela.
The president said the rebels’ surrender was good news for residents of Chocó.
ELN has waged a four-decade insurgency against a succession of
Colombian administrations. Several attempts to negotiate peace with the
group in the 1990s and earlier this decade broke down after weeks or
months of talks.
The most recent peace process between the ELN,
which has 5,000 members and was founded in 1964, and the government
started in 2005 and was suspended in August 2007 due to differences
over various issues. (EFE)