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The Red Cross (ICRC) announced the release of three kidnapped oil contractors in the northeast of Colombia on Monday.

The three men were kidnapped little less than two months ago while working in the Arauca state, an ELN hotbed on the border with Venezuela.

Local ICRC coordinator Anne-Sylvie Linder said in a press release that “the Red Cross was able to carry out this humanitarian act thanks to the confidence it enjoys as neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian organization,” adding that “we are happy having contributed to reunite these three persons to their loved once as soon as possible.”

The ELN is the second biggest leftist rebel group in Colombia after the FARC. The organization — fighting the state since 1964 — is particularly dominant in the remote Arauca department.

The group has carried out a number of kidnappings, particularly of oil and mining workers this year; The most prominent was that of a Canadian miner in the north of Colombia.

The ELN has repeatedly asked the Colombian government to join peace talks that are currently held with the much bigger FARC guerrilla group.

MORE: Peace Team Is ‘Formed And Ready,’ Waiting For Colombia Govt: ELN

Fortul, Arauca


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