Colombia ELN rebels say they are holding missing soldier

BBCColombia’s second-largest rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), says it is holding a missing soldier. In a statement, the ELN said it had kidnapped the soldier, Freddy Moreno, on 24 January in the eastern province of Arauca.

It said it was willing to release Mr Moreno ahead of peace talks set for next week. The talks were previously delayed because of the ELN’s failure to release the people it is still holding hostage.

Stumbling block

Formal peace talks had been due to start at the end of October but the Colombian government said they would not go ahead if the ELN did not first free Odin Sanchez, a former Congressman the rebels have held since April 2016. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

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