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ELN Leader Calls for Constitutional Assembly

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2010 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

Nicolás Rodríguez Bautista, alias Gabino, the top leader of the National Liberation Army reappeared to call for a Constitutional Assembly just as many analysts were calling the rebel group finished, the Colombian Semana weekly reported

Nicolás Rodríguez Bautista, alias Gabino, the top leader of the National Liberation Army (ELN) reappeared to call for a Constitutional Assembly just as many analysts were calling the rebel group finished, the Colombian Semana weekly reported. The proposal has been at the center of the guerrilla group’s proposals for years. On two occasions, the ELN held talks with the government of Alvaro Uribe Vélez (2002-2010). Since those talks fell apart in 2005, the group has begun working closely with criminal organizations such as the Rastrojos, although Rodríguez denied that the rebels work in “drug trafficking.” Rodríguez’s reappearance may not stop the talk about the end of the ELN. This year it has opened up a new front against its guerrilla rivals, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

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