Parts of Colombia still under control of rebel groups

CCTV News

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While the international community and Colombian citizens applaud efforts to end the country’s conflict with the FARC guerrilla group, another part of the country continues to suffer the consequences of war.

CCTV America’s Michelle Begue has more.

Parts of Colombia still under control of rebel groups

Parts of Colombia still under control of rebel groups

Colombia's second largest rebel group, the ELN (National Liberation Army), called a four-day national strike that it threatened to enforce at gunpoint. CCTV America's Michelle Begue has more.

Around 54,000 Colombian children in eastern Colombia couldn’t attend school this week, because they had no way to get there. Colombia’s second largest rebel group, the ELN, called a four-day national strike that it threatened to enforce at gunpoint.

Citizens across four provinces were not allowed to use public transport or conduct business. Those who wanted to use their own vehicles risked having them confiscated and burned.

The Colombian armed forces have been airlifting to nearby cities patients who need urgent care such as kidney dialysis.

The ELN, which stands for National Liberation Army, was formed in 1964. Government estimates say that the group only has 1,300 rebel members.

But one analyst said ELN fighters have great control over certain parts of the country because they are deeply embedded in those communities.

Some speculate that the ELN violence is a strategy to increase the guerilla’s leverage during peace negotiations with President Juan Manuel Santos. Talks were announced back in 2014 but have not yet materialized.