ELN Dealt Serious Blow as Colombian Security Forces Neutralize High Ranking Leader
By Steven McLoud/Diálogo June 12, 2020
Colombia’s relentless assault against narco-terrorist organizations and other guerilla groups continues to pay dividends as the Ministry of Defense announced the death of another high-ranking terrorist leader.
During an operation on May 14 involving Colombian security forces in the northern Bolívar department, a man known as Gallero from the National Liberation Army (ELN, in Spanish) was neutralized along with four other members. Gallero was reportedly a member of the ELN’s National Directorate and was delegated by the terrorist group’s central command to oversee the Darío Ramírez Castro War Front.
Colombian Defense Ministry officials say Gallero had been with the ELN for more than 30 years and was involved in the planning of numerous terrorist attacks at the national level including the January 2019 bombing of the National Police School in Bogotá where 22 cadets were killed.
This marks the second high-profile ELN member neutralized in the same week during which security forces killed Alias Mocho Tierra, who government authorities say was involved in the planning and execution of terrorist acts against the civilian population and the Colombian military.
Colombian Ministry of Defense officials believe that the ELN’s command structure has been dealt a serious blow with the elimination of these two members, since their political and armed components are severely weakened as is their ability to obtain resources through illicit profits from drug trafficking.