Twitter has suspended the account of Colombian Marxist paramilitary organization the Army of National Liberation (ELN) after the militants attempted to violently impose a 72 hour economic curfew in Colombia.
The ELN is the second largest paramilitary organization in Colombia after the FARC rebels, which are also a Marxist organization. The ELN was on the cusp of agreeing with the government to begin having formal peace talks.
The reasoning behind Twitter’s ban is in part because the U.S. views the ELN as a terrorist group, and it is not engaged in formal peace talks. On the other hand, its rivals the FARC are in formal peace talks — in Havana, Cuba — with the Colombian government which the Obama Administration supports so they have been granted Twitter access.
The ELN’s attempt at forcing a nationwide curfew began on Feb. 14 and according to the paramilitary organization will continue through Feb. 16. Rebels are attempting to pressure the government into engaging in formal peace talks by demonstrating the mayhem they can cause if they are excluded from the peace process.
Preliminary talks between the ELN and the Colombian government date back to 2014. At the core of the disagreement between the paramilitary group and the government is regarding Colombia’s economic model.
This intimidation tactic by the ELN is meant to pressure business owners into shuttering the doors through Tuesday so as to demonstrate to the Colombian government that the economy can grind to a halt at the behest of the ELN. Due to the organization’s Marxist ideology, the ELN wants Colombia’s free-market economic model to be a point of discussion in any formal peace talks.
ELN attacks tend to target both public and commercial transportation. So far, “one policeman was killed, several were injured and one bus was burned.”
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