Meet The National Liberation Army, One Of The Most Powerful Criminal Organizations In The World (Photos)

The National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional – ELN) is one of Colombia’s two primary guerrilla forces operating with left-wing political ideology.

Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) is one of the country’s oldest and most powerful criminal organizations. ELN rebels have been second only to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in terms of carrying out attacks on civilian and military targets and occupying territory for decades.

Following the demobilization of the FARC after the 2016 peace agreement, the ELN became the country’s only guerrilla movement.

The National Liberation Army
Female fighter of the National Liberation Army.

What started as a Marxist-Leninist nationalist movement has now shifted its focus to kidnapping, extortion, and attacks on economic infrastructure. And, after decades of avoiding drug trafficking, it has recently been tied to the drugs trade and has sought relationships with significant drug trafficking groups.


It is currently Colombia’s and Venezuela’s most powerful criminal organization, controlling enormous swaths of coca plantations, cocaine manufacture and transportation networks, as well as a significant stake in illegal gold mining.

See also  Nigerian soldiers kill 11 ISWAP/Boko Haram terrorists (Photos)

Businesses and middle-class people in the ELN’s operating areas are its main sources of revenue. They frequently kidnap citizens to use as leverage in order to enforce these “taxes.” While the Ejército de Liberación Nacional refers to these activities as “war taxes” and “retentions,” critics say they are “extortion” and “kidnapping.”

The National liberation army
Fighters of the National Liberation Army.

The ELN has grown into a truly transnational criminal gang, operating freely in both countries and controlling most of the criminal economies along the border. It is thought to be heavily backed by the Venezuelan regime in exchange for a portion of illegal revenues.

READ ALSO: At least 62 civilians killed in DR Congo machete attack.

Colombia has long accused Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of harboring ELN insurgents, notably a high-ranking commander known as Pablito.

The National liberation army
The ELN fighters.

With 2,450 members, the group is recognized for being less centrally managed than past Colombian guerrilla factions.

Although its actual efforts differ from its public posture in both nations, the ELN’s activities in Colombia and Venezuela are complementary. The group wants to overthrow the government in Colombia through revolutionary action, albeit its armed actions are modest in comparison to its unlawful funding.

See also  Terrorists Kills Commissioner's Son, 3 Others In Zamfara

In Venezuela, the group does not openly seek the overthrow of the government and instead works with the country’s political leadership and local military commanders.

The ELN uses Venezuela as a strategic safe haven and focuses on illicit revenue generation. Nonetheless, in order to raise money and extend its operations, the ELN engages in violence against rivals and controls territory in Venezuela that is probably larger than in Colombia.

READ ALSO: Meet The Dozos, A Brotherhood Of Initiated Traditional Hunters Renowned For Their Mystical Powers (See Photos).

Apart from drugs and minerals, the Ejército de Liberación Nacional has also been accused of stealing and extorting cattle from ranchers on the Colombian side of the border and smuggling them into Venezuela, particularly in the Department of Arauca.

The ELN has been designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the US State Department, reportedly because of its notoriety for kidnappings for ransom and armed attacks on Colombia’s infrastructure. For those activities and violations of humanitarian law, the European Union put the ELN to its list of terrorist groups in April 2004.

See also  Panic as another bomb explosion hits Kogi
Final Thoughts

A series of events in Colombia and Venezuela over the last five years have bolstered the National Liberation Army (ELN), making it a significantly more deadly and intractable menace to both countries and the region.

The ELN has grown larger, better funded, and more difficult to demobilize as a result of the partial demobilization of the rival Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

A dramatic expansion in coca production in Columbia, a permissive environment for the ELN in neighboring Venezuela, and opportunities arising from that country’s criminal economy and refugee crisis has further boosted it’s might.

To Learn More about the National Liberation Army, go HERE.

Share and Enjoy !


Isaac is a Content Writer who has created many written materials, such as website content, blog posts, stories, and so on. I'm also good at developing and generating ideas, performing research, selecting workable ideas, writing fresh content, proofreading content, introducing keywords, managing user-generated content, and managing social media pages.

Related Posts

Sheikh Zakzaky

Everything You Need To Know About Sheikh Zakzaky

Who is Sheikh Zakzaky? Sheikh Zakzaky was born on 5th of May 1953 (15th Sha’ban 1372 AH). His early education was at the traditional Quranic and Islamic Schools from…

2 suspected terrorists

Katsina Police Arrest 2 Suspected Terrorists, Rescue 5 Kidnap Victims [Photos]

Katsina State Police Command have announced the arrest of 2 suspected terrorists and the rescue of 5 kidnapped victims in two separate operations. This was made known…

Jamatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya

5 members of new militant group Jamatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya arrested in Dhaka

Five members of the new militant outfit in Bangladesh, Jamatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya, were arrested by the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit (CTTC) of the…

Former accountant general of zamfara state

3 abducted children of former Accountant General of Zamfara State regains freedom 5 months after bandits kidnapped them

Bandit-Terrorists Free Ex-Zamfara Accountant General’s Remaining Abducted Children Five children of a former Accountant General of Zamfara State, Abubakar Bello Furfuri, have regained their freedom from the…

Gallant troops give terrorists bloody nose in Kaduna, recover weapons [See Photos]

The nigerian army on sunday said it’s troops has killed no fewer than 7 terrorists in Kaduna State. The Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyeama Nwachukwu,…

Imam Abdullahi Abubakar

Rescued From Bandits: The Gripping True Story of How Imam Abdullahi Abubakar Saved Over 200 Christians From Untimely Death

October 11, 2022 The 86-year-old Muslim Cleric, Imam Abdullahi Abubakar, who saved the lives of hundreds of persons fleeing from attacks by suspected bandits in Yelwan Gindi…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *