National Liberation Army
The National Liberation Army (Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional, ELN) is a marxist guerrilla group in Colombia that initially attracted many Catholics who had embraced liberation theology. Founded in 1964, the ELN is more ideological than its left-wing Colombian counterpart, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Focusing on urban areas, the ELN represents the poor against the wealthy classes and opposes US involvement in Colombia. It proposes the establishment of a Christian communist regime to resolve the socioeconomic problems of political corruption, chronic poverty, and political exclusion affecting much of the Colombian populace. Current ELN membership numbers are around five thousand and have been dropping since the late 1990s. The ELN has been accused of turning to kidnapping for ransom, narco-trafficking, and extortion in order to raise financial support.