The Colombian government recently killed the ELN’s senior leader, Vanegas Londoño, a.k.a. Uriel, in Colombia’s western Choco Department. Choco is home to the western Pacific coast reaches of a major smuggling corridor that spans the north of the country. The ELN has been trying to expand its territorial control of routes along that corridor. Londoño was highly visible on social media. The accompanying references (well-established, generally non-socialist-leaning outlets), tell the story of his neutralization and its significance, which was enough to merit a personal announcement of the news by President Iván Duque. Londoño had been identified as responsible for the 2019 attack against the police academy that had left 23 dead. He also bragged that the ELN was centrally involved in the urban rioting that Colombia has been suffering, providing strong evidence in support of the government claims that the rioting was orchestrated and that the ELN had developed and was exercising an urban warfare capability.

…Iván Duque confirmed the killing of Vanegas Londoño, alias ‘Uriel’…

Source: “Confirman baja de ‘Uriel’, sanguinario y mediático líder del Eln en Chocó (Killing of ‘Uriel’, bloody and high-profile leader of the ELN in Choco is confirmed),” El Colombiano, 25 October 2020. https://www.elcolombiano.com/colombia/confirman-baja-de-urielsanguinario-y-mediatico-lider-del-eln-en-choco-HD13899493

“This Sunday night the President of the Republic Iván Duque confirmed the killing of Vanegas Londoño, alias “Uriel”, who was the chief of the ELN’s Ómar Gómez Western War Front, which operated in Chocó Department… Of alias ‘Uriel’ it I known that he had 25 years as an active member of the ELN and that in public appearances of the guerrilla he has justified the participation of children. This last July, when the ELN commemorated its 55 years, an audio recording of the guerrilla came out in which he is saying that it is not a question of recruitment but of ‘voluntary entrance’. He had a direct line of communication with Pablo Beltran, member of the ELN Central Committee, and he used social media as a platform to make ELN propaganda.”

…this guerrilla chief was responsible for the attack against the General Santander School of Cadets…

Source: “Duro golpe al ELN: cae abatido alias ‘Uriel’, cabecilla de la narco-guerrilla (Costly blow to the ELN: alias ‘Uriel’, top leader of the narco guerrilla, felled),” PanamPost, 25 October 2020.
https://panampost.com/jose-gregorio-artinez/2020/10/25/duro-golpe-eln-cae-abatidoalias-uriel-cabecilla-narcoguerrilla/

“The President of Colombia Iván Duque reminded that this guerrilla chief was responsible for the attack against the General Santander School of Cadets [Police Academy] that left 23 dead…

Luis Fernando Navarro, Commanding General of the Military Forces, indicated that Operation Odin, in which alias ‘Uriel’ was taken out, is a clear demonstration of the government’s strategy to combat these organizations that threaten against the security of Colombians.”

…‘Uriel’ admits the participation of ELN urban networks in the acts of urban violence…

Source: “Donde hay movilización ha estado el Eln”: alias ‘Uriel’ (Alias ‘Uriel’: Where there are mobilizations, there has been ELN),” El Colombiano and Colprensa, 24 September 2020.
https://www.elcolombiano.com/colombia/paz-y-derechos-humanos/protestas-fueroninfiltradas-por-eln-para-atacar-cai-de-policia-LN13698627

“In a video, one of the commanders of the ELN ‘s Ómar Gómez Western War Front, alias ‘Uriel’, confirmed that members of the structure has participated in the marches that have been carried out recently in the country…

The boss of the illegal structure assured that ‘among the students are compañeros and compañeras of the Army of National Liberation, among the workers, the laborers, inside the judiciary, among the sindicalists, the health sector, transporters… everywhere there has been a social mobilization there have been compañeros of the Army of Liberation’…

For Trujillo [Carlos Holmes Trujillo, Minister of Defense], it is brazen how alias ‘Uriel’ admits the participation of ELN urban networks in the acts of urban violence and vandalism in Bogotá…”

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