BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia's attorney general's office is investigating an alleged planned attack by National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels against top prosecutor Francisco Barbosa, it said on Tuesday.
The announcement of the investigation comes less than a week after the ELN, a Marxist group that has fought the state since 1964, and the government of leftist President Gustavo Petro began a six-month ceasefire as part of peace talks to end the guerrillas' part in Colombia's conflict.
Barbosa has publicly opposed many of Petro's peace promises, including a pending law which would reduce prison sentences for crime gangs who surrender, recognize their crimes and offer reparations to victims.
According to three sources, "In July there took place a meeting in Venezuela between five high commanders of the ELN...to produce an attack with snipers," the attorney general's office said in a statement.
The attack was to be directed by a member of an ELN urban front who uses the alias "el Rolo" and people associated with him have been part of suspicious financial transactions worth more than 3 billion pesos, about $750,000, it added.
The attorney general's organized crime division is investigating and corroborating the information, the statement added.
It was not immediately possible to reach ELN negotiators for comment. Social media accounts belonging to the group have so far not posted any reaction to the allegations.
The Venezuelan government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The ELN negotiations have advanced further than any of Petro's other peace-building efforts, and the group's leadership has repeatedly stressed that its members are united in their desire to seek a peace deal.
Previous negotiations with the group have faltered on continued violence, including a 2019 bombing which killed 22 police cadets, dissent within the ELN's ranks, and its radical demands.
(Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb in Bogota; additional reporting by Deisy Buitrago in Caracas; Editing by Leslie Adler)