The body of a rancher kidnapped and held for a week by the ELN was found on Sunday by rural workers in the northeast of Colombia, according to local media reports.
The body of Luis Alberto Alvarez, who was kidnapped by the ELN a week ago, was found with multiple gunshots wounds. Rural workers discovered the body in the municipality of Saravena, Arauca on the northeastern border of Colombia and Venezuela.
The Chiron Task Force, the local military presence along the Colombian/Venezuelan border, has condemned the attack as a “vile murder.”
— Fuerza Quiron (@FuerzaQuiron) abril 20, 2014
The ELN, which reportedly numbers around 1,500 fighters, also kidnapped two oil company workers from Saravena on Saturday before releasing them hours later in the neighboring town of Fortul.
The region in which the kidnapping took place is well known for its ELN activity, and has been host to multiple attacks and kidnappings in recent weeks.
The death of the Alvarez and his work as a farmer and union leader may have an impact on the agricultural strike scheduled for April 28.
The ELN are not yet part of the ongoing peace negotiations currently being held between the Colombian Government and Colombia’s oldest guerrilla group the FARC.