According to the armed forces central command, the guerrillas belonged to the Heroes y Martyres de Taraza Front of the ELN. Due to the impact of the bombing, only seven of the the fourteen bodies of the guerrillas killed have been retrieved.
Among the guerrillas killed is alias “Ever,” who was second in command of the front. The guerrilla had reportedly spent the last eighteen years within the ELN’s ranks.
Ever is believed to have been involved in the planting of 43 minefields between 2009 and 2010. The minefields killed 26 and wounded 33 more, including policemen, soldiers and civilians working on the manual eradication of coca crops in the region.
The two camps destroyed in the raid had the capacity to house 30 people. In the camps authorities found eight rifles, two 9mm pistols, ammunition cartridges, four grenades, twelve backpacks, and 100 kilos of food supplies.
This is the armed forces’ first big strike against the ELN so far this year. According to intelligence, the Heroes y Martires de Taraza front is responsible for 80% of the extortion of mining companies in the Bajo Cauca region, which straddles the Antioquia and Cordoba departments.
The Heroes y Martires de Taraza Front is believed to be working with the 18th and 36th Fronts of the FARC in production, trafficking, and sales of narcotics in the region.
The Colombian police, army, air force, and navy all participated in Operation Alianza.