National Liberation Army–Colombia

Founded in 1965, the National Liberation Army–Colombia is a Marxist terrorist group that has conducted a guerrilla war of almost 40 years against the Colombian government.

The leaders of the National Liberation Army—widely known by its Spanish acronym, ELN (Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional)—were student activists inspired by the success of the 1959 Cuban revolution. Most important among them was Fabio Vasquez, founder of MOEC, a students, workers, and peasants union. Many MOEC members would become ELN members. Most of the ELN's first leaders received military training in Cuba in the early 1960s; returning to Colombia, they attempted to apply Fidel Castro's and Che Guevara's foquista tactics to Columbia.

The ELN first attacked on January 7, 1965, when 27 ELN guerrillas held the town of Simacota for two hours. The organization remained obscure until November 1965, when Camilo Torres, a former priest well known in Colombia for ...

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