Cayó cabecilla del Eln responsable del secuestro de los peruanos y el canadiense en el sur de Bolívar. Nuestras FFAA siempre a la ofensiva.
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) July 8, 2013
The suspected rebel ringleader is “Mario Solano,” the alleged second in command of the “Dario Gomez” rebel fighting unit that is active in the region where miner Jernoc Wobert was kidnapped on January 18.
According to Santos, Solano was the coordinator of the kidnapping operation in which Wobert, two Peruvians and two Colombians were kidnapped. The Peruvian and Colombian nationals were released a month later, but the ELN has refused to release its Canadian hostage, until his employer, Braeval Mining Corporation, gives land to local communities who the ELN said were unlawfully stripped of property.
At the same time, Santos has refused to allow the ELN take part in peace talks that are currently being held with the much larger rebel group FARC until they release their Canadian hostage.
The ELN is Colombia’s second largest rebel group with an estimated amount of 2,000 to 3,000 fighters. The guerrilla group has been at war with the Colombian state since 1964.