The Colombian National Liberation Army (ELN) assured this Thursday that “none” of its structures participated in the attack last Tuesday with a car bomb against a Colombian military brigade in Cúcuta, in which there were United States personnel and that 36 injured , as reported by EFE.
“We allow ourselves to inform that no ELN structure has to do with the attack that occurred on Tuesday, June 15, on Brigade 30 in the city of Cúcuta, Norte de Santander,” said the insurgency in a short video of just 39 seconds with distorted voice and image, which was released today on a website and channels related to the guerrilla movement.
Last Tuesday, a white van loaded with explosives entered the military installations in that city on the border with Venezuela with two men who impersonated officials and two explosions occurred shortly after, as explained then by Colombian Defense Minister Diego Molano.
In the attack, 36 people were injured – three of them “with some level of severity” – including three civilians.
As a first hypothesis, Molano pointed to the responsibility of the ELN, although he also assured that the possibility that it was perpetrated by FARC dissidents operating in that area is being investigated.
The form of the attack remembered the one committed on January 17, 2019 by the ELN, also with a car bomb, against the Cadet School of the General Santander Police in Bogotá, in which 22 cadets died, including one Ecuadorian, and 67 others people were injured.
The explosions this week in Cúcuta, which were seen from neighboring neighborhoods, especially affected an area of offices that, according to some soldiers, were empty since part of the brigade personnel, attached to the Second Army Division, is in quarantine for coronavirus.
The Colombian government seems to have taken steps towards a possible new making of contacts with the ELN, after the former high commissioner for peace Miguel Ceballos said on May 11 that they would be willing to suspend the extradition orders of the heads of the guerrillas, who remain in Cuba, if a peace process begins.
The Executive makes this new process conditional on this group releasing the hostages and ceasing the recruitment of minors.
The bilateral relations of Colombia and Cuba are troubled after the island’s refusal to extradite four members of the ELN who remain in Havana after the government of Iván Duque broke the peace dialogue process promoted by the previous government in 2017 and 2018.