Culture&Arts

Colombia's ELN accused of kidnapping Dutch journalists

Colombia's ELN accused of kidnapping Dutch journalists

Several armed groups operate in the region, including rebel group ELN, which previous year kidnapped a Spanish journalist and several Colombians in the same area. "Colombian authorities should do their utmost to locate the journalists and bring them to safety, and all sides in the Colombian civil conflict must respect the internationally recognized status of journalists as civilians".

Spoorloos is a program on the Kro-Ncrv channel regularly presented by Derk Bolt, which seeks to help Dutch people trace their biological relatives around the world.

The two men were working in the municipality of El Tarra on the border with Venezuela - an area where rebel group the ELN (the National Liberation Army) is strong.

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The area of Norte de Santander also has several crime gangs trafficking drugs.

The leftist guerrilla group, which neither confirmed nor denied any kidnapping, said on Twitter on Monday that they were looking into the case.

According to broadcaster NOS, the Colombian army has sent a unit which specialises in kidnapping to the region.

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Last year, ELN rebels in Norte de Santander abducted Spanish-Colombian journalist Salud Hernandez-Mora as well as two Colombian reporters.

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

Colombia's larger rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, signed a peace treaty last year to end its 52-year insurgency, and is now disarming its 7,000 fighters.

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