According to local media, the soldier was killed while his unit was trying to repel an attack from the FARC’s 59th Front.
The La Guajira department is considered a key area for the FARC’s Caribbean Bloc, a medium-sized fighting unit concentrated along the northern Venazuelan border. According to several reports, FARC rebels move with relative ease across the border between the department and the Venezuelan state of Zulia.
Insurgents in the area have been accused of both drug and gasoline smuggling in the area.
The FARC have launched approximately 40 attacks against security forces since announcing the end of their unilateral ceasefire on January 20.
The rebels and government negotiators are currently involved in peace talks in the Cuban capital of Havana. The negotiations have been marred by the FARC’s Sunday kidnapping of two policemen in the southwestern Valle del Cauca department.
The government’s lead negotiator, Humberto de la Calle, on Wednesday said that the kidnapping was an “attack against the peace process,” while the country’s vice president called it “unfortuntate.”