Bogotá, Jun 24 (EFE).- Nicolás Rodríguez Bautista, the top commander of Colombia’s largest left-wing guerrilla group, the ELN, has stepped down due to health issues, he said in a statement that was revealed Thursday.
Better known as Gabino, the 71-year-old has been receiving treatment for a medical issue in Cuba, where he has been based since 2018. In a letter dated May 1, he said his resignation had been accepted by the militia.
Another reason for Gabino’s visit to Cuba was to engage in exploratory peace talks with the Colombian government.
He led the ELN, which stands for the National Liberation Army, from 1998.
The ELN became the largest left-wing insurgency in Colombia after the FARC militant group agreed to lay down its arms in a historic peace agreement with the government in 2016.
Colombia, the United States and the European Union, among others, consider the ELN a terrorist organization.EFE