Wed. Apr 24th, 2019

A Colombian military man dies when stepping on an antipersonnel mine in Catatumbo

A Colombian military man dies when stepping on an antipersonnel mine in Catatumbo


A Colombian army soldier died Friday when he stepped on an antipersonnel mine installed by ELN guerrillas in the Catatumbo region, on the border with Venezuela, military sources said Friday.

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The Task Force Command Vulcano detailed in a statement that the murdered military was identified as Pablo Emilio Borja García, who was carrying out safety work on a section of the Caño Limón-Coveñas pipeline, one of the largest in the country, passing through the Convention municipality, in the department of Norte de Santander.

The information added that after the explosion of the device "safety protocols were activated to offer medical support (...) but unfortunately, as a result of this terrorist attack" the professional soldier died due to the severity of the injuries.

According to the Army, "this is clear evidence" of the way in which the guerrilla of the National Liberation Army (ELN) "transgresses and systematically violates the tenets of International Humanitarian Law (IHL)."

This happens a day after the ELN announced a unilateral ceasefire during Holy Week that will begin next Sunday 14.

According to a statement by the ELN, published by Senator Iván Cepeda, of the leftist Alternative Democratic Pole (PDA) and "facilitator" of the peace talks, the ceasefire will continue until Easter Sunday, the end of Holy Week .

This is the first sign of peace sent by that guerrilla since January 17, when it perpetrated an attack against the General Francisco de Paula Santander Cadet School in Bogotá, in which 22 police officers died, in addition to the attacker.

Last February, the ELN began peace negotiations in Ecuador with the previous Colombian government, which in May 2018 were transferred to Havana where the last round concluded, at the beginning of August, without progress.

The president of Colombia, Iván Duque, conditioned the continuity of the dialogues to which the guerrilla group stops kidnapping and releases all the people it has in its power.

After the attack the dialogues were in neutral and Duque asked Cuba to deliver the ELN delegates who are in Havana for the negotiations, a request that has not been met by the island government.

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