ELN refuses to lay down arms

Colombia’s second largest guerrilla group ELN vowed Monday to continue its war against the state in order to achieve “real peace” in the country.

The rebels said on their website that they will focus their efforts in supporting popular struggles and they will be “tireless in fighting for the purposes of real peace for Colombia,” and until “that reality comes, will continue in arms.”

“We are worthy and unyielding fighters for a homeland for all, without exclusions of any kind, and for genuine peace that overcomes injustice, and bring to the masses democracy, sovereignty and social equity,” the guerrilla website stated.

The ELN directed its message to victims of Colombia’s internal armed conflict and flooding as well as ethnic minorities, students, artists and intellectuals.

According to the rebels, their actions are a “testimony of rebellion, as a genuine right of a people, and a nation that has imposed exploitation and capitalist domination, and imperialistic yoke from North America.”

The ELN said that the Colombian people’s moral support and efforts fueled their activities this year, and they will continue to be active in the coming year.

The ELN, which has been active since 1964, is estimated to have about 2,500 fighters while the Colombia’s largest guerrilla faction, the FARC, has more than 8,000.

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