Guerrillas embarrass president in northeast Colombia

(Image: Twitter)

ELN guerrillas took advantage of a visit of President Ivan Duque to northeast Colombia on Sunday to show that they control the region.

The president was embarrassed by images of heavily armed guerrillas patrolling streets in the Arauca province.

According to local journalists, the photos were taken in Arauquita at the time that Duque and Defense Minister Diego Molano were in the provincial capital Arauca for a security meeting.

We reviewed the troops of the two battalions we sent to reinforce and guarantee security.

President Ivan Duque

The images apparently sought to discredit the president’s claims that the government guaranteed security in the war-torn province.

In a response, the security forces said that the guerrillas spent no more than 10 minutes in the village of La Esmeralda where the photos allegedly were taken.

Duque published a video of soldiers allegedly standing guard in La Esmeralda to confirm that the military is in control in Arauca.

Molano said Sunday that at least 30 people have been killed in Arauca after the ELN and dissidents of now-defunct guerrilla group FARC began fighting earlier this year.

In response to the violence, the national government said that the military sent more than 600 soldiers to Arauca.

The province on the border with Venezuela has effectively been controlled by the ELN for years.

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