Kidnapped Dutch journalists may be held by Colombian rebels

Virginia Carter
June 20, 2017

Past year in the same area Spanish-Colombian journalist Salud Hernández Mora was kidnapped by the ELN, as were two Colombian journalists, Diego D'Pablos and Carlos Melo, who had gone to the area to cover the story.

The government Ombudsman's office for human rights has demanded their immediate release.

Leaders of the ELN negotiating a peace deal with the government said on Twitter they are looking into the report and hoped to have more information on Tuesday.

Presenter Derk Bolt and cameraman Eugenio Follender were trying to trace the mother of someone adopted by a Dutch couple when they disappeared in the northern region of Catatumbo, close to the border with Venezuela on Saturday.

In May 2016 in the same region, ELN rebels kidnapped a Colombian-Spanish journalist and two Colombian TV reporters. When the BBC asked an ELN spokesman about the kidnappings he responded: "There is nothing to say".

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At least 10 people were injured when a van ploughed into a group of worshippers as they exited the mosque at about 12.20am today. Asked by ITV News what she thought when she found her son was in custody, she said: "Oh God... you just can't imagine".

In addition to demanding their safe return, detachments of Colombian special forces units are in the volatile area investigating the disappearances.

"We have established that members of the Frente Hector of the ELN appear to have kidnapped the journalists", the statement said.

The biggest rebel movement, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC, signed a peace accord late last year and is expected to complete total disarmament within the year.

Last year, the ELN held three journalists in the same region for nearly a week.

Other reports by BadHub

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