Incident Summary:

01/11/2019: Assailants shot down a Aerocharter Andina helicopter and abducted three crew members in San Jose del Tarra, Norte de Santander, Colombia. The hostages were released on February 3, 2019. The National Liberation Army of Colombia (ELN) claimed responsibility for the incident; however, sources attributed the attack to the Popular Liberation Army (EPL), which the group denied.




South America

region/u.s. state:

Norte de Santander

San Jose del Tarra

Location Details:
The incident occurred in Hacari district.

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Airports and Aircraft
Name of Entity Aerocharter Andina
Specific Description Helicopter
Nationality of Target Colombia
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 3
US Hostages 0
Days of Kidnapping 23
Outcome Hostage(s) released by perpetrators
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Unknown Gun Type
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information The hostages were identified as Captain Julio Diaz, Carlos Quinceno, and Maxwel Joyay.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Group Sub-name Claimed Responsibility
National Liberation Army of Colombia (ELN) Northeastern War Front Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Posted to website, blog, etc.)
Popular Liberation Army (EPL) (suspected) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Colombian rebels free captured helicopter crew," Xinhua General News Service, February 4, 2019.
"Colombia Guerrilla Update: Army Bombs FARC Dissidents' Camp in Caqueta Department, 'Cadete' Killed," Summary, February 4, 2019.
"Colombia Guerrilla Update: Authorities Attribute Bogota Car Bomb to ELN," Summary, January 18, 2019.