Colombia’s second largest rebel group ELN on Tuesday vowed to continue attacks on multinational oil and mining corporations until the government has created conditions for peace talks.
While reaffirming the rebel group’s earlier statements that it is willing to enter peace talks with the government, the commander of the ELN’s Eastern Front, alias “Pablito” said in a video on Bogota public television network Canal Capital that “as long as the government does not fulfill its duty .. and as long as they haven’t given a response to our demand we will continue to fiercely attack the multinationals.”
The ELN commander blamed the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos of “not wanting to allow the conditions for peace talks.”
The Eastern Front is one of the ELN’s most powerful fronts and held responsible for multiple attacks against the oil and mining industry, particularly in the northeastern Arauca department.
The rebel group, like the bigger FARC, have been fighting the Colombian state since 1964. Unlike the FARC, the ELN and the Colombian government have not agreed to hold formal peace talks.