Colombia’s Minister of Defense announced the death of five guerrillas belonging to the country’s largest rebel group FARC in military operations Sunday, during the second round of presidential elections, the minister said.
Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon announced that, in addition to the deaths of five guerrillas from the FARC rebel group during two separate operations carried out by Colombia’s authorities, two members from the group’s Magdalena Medio bloc were wounded and captured.
|Colombia’s 2014 elections|
According to the minister, a coordinated operation on Saturday June 14 between the armed forces and the national police against the 18th front of the FARC in the village of Ituango (Antioquia), killed two guerrillas.
Two other alleged FARC members were killed during a separate operation on Sunday against the group’s Magdalena Medio bloc, with an additional two members reportedly captured during the fighting.
In the run-up to the country’s second round of presidential elections, the FARC rebel group announced a unilateral three-week ceasefire to ensure a peaceful electoral process. Colombia’s government and the armed group have been holding peace talks in Cuba since 2012, in a bid to end the country’s 50-year old conflict.
The country’s second-largest guerrilla group, the ELN, failed to declare a similar ceasefire, although they have stated that they would not intervene with the electoral process during elections.
However, military intelligence announced on Sunday that ELN groups had set up roadblocks in certain areas of the western state of Choco in an attempt to stop citizens from going to the polls. Pinzon addressed the security concern, stating that security forces had been deployed in Choco to deal with the reported situation.
The defense minister also reiterated that the armed forces and police have deployed nearly 450,000 security forces in place to assure safety in what he has called the most peaceful elections in decades.
- Las FF. AA. garantizan absoluta seguridad en estas elecciones: Juan Carlos Pinzon (Denfese Ministry Press Release)