ELN rebel leader arrested for attacks

ELN rebel leader arrested for attacks

ELN rebel leader arrested for attacks

A leader of Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas was arrested on Feb. 15 in Bogota on suspicion of planning two attacks on police that killed seven and left dozens wounded, prosecutors said.

Rafael Antonio Botero Restrepo, known by the nickname “Tista,” was arrested in a joint operation carried out by the army and prosecution agents.

He is accused of being a top leader in the ELN - Colombia’s last active rebel group, ever since the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) concluded a peace deal with the government in 2016.

“He is accused of recruiting minors and the attack on the Macarena bullfighting ring a year ago,” said President Juan Manuel Santos.

He added that Botero was “probably” also behind a bombing last month at a police station in the northern city of Barranquilla that killed six officers and wounded more than 40.

The ELN has admitted it was behind the February 2017 bombing outside the Macarena arena, which killed a policeman and wounded 24 others, as well as two civilians.