The ELN, the leftist guerrilla insurgency, has announced that they captured five fishermen who have been missing since May 13 in the municipality of Antioquia, Colombia. The Guerra Darío Ramírez Castro front of the ELN said in a statement, however, that the fishermen are actually criminals involved in drug trafficking and have links to paramilitaries. The statement said several firearms were confiscated from the fishermen when they were detained. It is worth noting that there is evidence showing a connection between the ELN and the cocaine trade in Colombia.
One of the fishermen was said to be injured from a firearm during the capture of the men, however, the ELN stated they have given him treatment and he is in a stable health condition.
The fishermen will be released by the ELN “as a good gesture of peace and reaffirm the commitment we have in the peace process that is being advanced.” However, the statement emphasises that there must be justice for these alleged criminals.
The ELN is currently in a turbulent peace process with the Petro government. The Petro government announced on December 31 2022 that they had reached a ceasefire with the ELN. However, just days later the ELN stated no agreement had been reached. The two actors have since been undertaking peace talks in Havana, Cuba.