Red Cross offers assistance to search for missing journalists in Colombia

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Principio Esperanza via YouTube
ELN is a radical military organisation advocating Marxist political agendas

UPDATE: THREE journalists who were kidnapped by the Colombian ELN, a leftist military movement who title themselves as the National Liberation army, will be released from captivity following a negotiated ceasefire between the Colombian Government and the guerrilla group.

The group have explained that it was an act of recklessness and regret that the situation occurred. 

However, the ELN did also state that the journalists’ infiltration of the Catatumbo area, noted for rebel and drug trafficking activity, was unwise.

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The release of Salud Hernandez-Mora, a correspondent of Spanish paper, El Mundo, and reporter Diego D’Pablos and cameraman Carlos Melo from the Colombian network RCN, were negotiated for as part of a ceasefire treaty.

The ongoing peace agreements have been acknowledged by both sides as being beneficial to society; the central ELN command have stated that they are certain that a new concord will create a different climate in the country.


THE International Committee of the Red Cross announced on May 26 that it would be joining the search for three missing journalists at the request of the Colombian Government.

Two journalists, reporter Diego D’Pablos and cameraman Carlos Melo, both from Colombian TV network RCN, were allegedly detained by a group of gunmen in the Colombian town of El Tarra, in the Catatumbo region of northeast Colombia.

The two journalists were there to investigate the disappearance of their colleague, Spanish-Colombian reporter Salud Hernandez-Mora, who works as a correspondent for the Spanish newspaper, El Mundo. She was last seen in El Tarra during the weekend of May 21/22, but has since been missing.

The RCN journalists were reportedly attacked and robbed by a group of assailants, who stole their mobile phones and filming equipment, some of which has apparently been destroyed.

The Colombian watchdog group, Foundation for Press Freedom, has stated that based on the intelligence they have managed to obtain, they believe that the National Liberation Army (ELN) is responsible for the disappearance of the press workers.

This has been supported by Colombian Defence Minister, Luis Carlos Villegas, who has said that the government blames the ELN for the incidents.

The ELN is one of the largest leftist rebel groups operating in Colombia. The Catatumbo region is purportedly well known for high levels of guerrilla and drug-trafficking activity, which may account for Hernandez-Mora’s disappearance.

However, Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, had officially confirmed on Monday May 23, immediately after the correspondent’s disappearance, that the journalist was with the ELN on a reporting job, and of her own volition.

It appears that yesterday’s request for help from the Red Cross was motivated by growing concerns for the missing woman and her colleagues.

The ELN have previously stated that they are willing to begin constructive talks with the Colombian government to end the long internal conflict which began in the 1960s; however the organisation continues to kidnap individuals for ransom, which has long been the military group’s main source of funding.

The ELN are accused of kidnapping at least seven people this year and the latest incident has gravely affected peace talks, which started in March 2016.


 

THE International Committee of the Red Cross announced on May 26 that it would be joining the search for three missing journalists at the request of the Colombian Government.

Two journalists, reporter Diego D’Pablos and cameraman Carlos Melo, both from Colombian TV network RCN, were allegedly detained by a group of gunmen in the Colombian town of El Tarra, in the Catatumbo region of northeast Colombia.

The two journalists were there to investigate the disappearance of their colleague, Spanish-Colombian reporter Salud Hernandez-Mora, who works as a correspondent for the Spanish newspaper, El Mundo. She was last seen in El Tarra during the weekend of May 21/22, but has since been missing.

The RCN journalists were reportedly attacked and robbed by a group of assailants, who stole their mobile phones and filming equipment, some of which has apparently been destroyed.

The Colombian watchdog group, Foundation for Press Freedom, has stated that based on the intelligence they have managed to obtain, they believe that the National Liberation Army (ELN) is responsible for the disappearance of the press workers.

This has been supported by Colombian Defence Minister, Luis Carlos Villegas, who has said that the government blames the ELN for the incidents.

The ELN is one of the largest leftist rebel groups operating in Colombia. The Catatumbo region is purportedly well known for high levels of guerrilla and drug-trafficking activity, which may account for Hernandez-Mora’s disappearance.

However, Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, had officially confirmed on Monday May 23, immediately after the correspondent’s disappearance, that the journalist was with the ELN on a reporting job, and of her own volition.

It appears that yesterday’s request for help from the Red Cross was motivated by growing concerns for the missing woman and her colleagues.

The ELN have previously stated that they are willing to begin constructive talks with the Colombian government to end the long internal conflict which began in the 1960s; however the organisation continues to kidnap individuals for ransom, which has long been the military group’s main source of funding.

The ELN are accused of kidnapping at least seven people this year and the latest incident has gravely affected peace talks, which started in March 2016.

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