- Title: Top ELN rebel commander dies of bombing injuries, Colombia gov't says
- Date: 28th September 2021
- Summary: UNIDENTIFIED JUNGLE REGION, COLOMBIA (FILE - AUGUST 2017) (REUTERS) ELN REBEL LOOKING INTO CAMERA HOLDING RIFLE ELN REBELS IN JUNGLE NEXT TO RIVER ELN BADGE ON REBEL'S ARM VARIOUS OF ELN GUERRILLA FIGHTERS IN JUNGLE
- Embargoed: 12th October 2021 18:36
- Keywords: Angel Padilla Romero Colombia's National Liberation Army (ELN) Fabian President Ivan Duque rebels
- Location: CHOCO JUNGLE, BOGOTA, CHOCO, UNIDENTIFIED JUNGLE REGION, COLOMBIA
- City: CHOCO JUNGLE, BOGOTA, CHOCO, UNIDENTIFIED JUNGLE REGION, COLOMBIA
- Country: Colombia
- Topics: South America / Central America,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA006EWMX3YF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A top leader of Colombia's National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels died on Tuesday (September 28) of injuries sustained in a military bombing in the country's northwest, Defense Minister Diego Molano said.
Angel Padilla Romero, known by his alias Fabian, headed the group's Western Front and died in a hospital in the city of Cali, where he was taken after being found injured in the jungles of Choco province, ten days after the bombing.
Colombia's government said Padilla was captured alive and received first aid and he was moved to a hospital in Cali where he died while receiving medical attention.
Padilla commanded 450 fighters divided into six units, security sources said.
Antonio Garcia - who Molano said is hiding out in Venezuela - is the rebel group's official leader.
Other top commanders including Pablo Beltran are currently in Cuba, where they were holding peace talks with the Colombian government before discussions were called off in 2019.
Colombia has repeatedly urged Cuba to extradite the former negotiators on charges related to a bombing at a police academy which scuppered the talks.
The ELN, founded by radical Catholic priests in 1964, is widely considered to be less centrally controlled than the former rebel group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which inked a peace deal in 2016. The ELN is estimated to have some 2,450 fighters.
(Production: Herbert Villarraga, Camilo Cohecha, Liamar Ramos)
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