Dutch journalists remain in captivity in Colombia

  • Dutch journalists remain in captivity in Colombia

Dutch journalists remain in captivity in Colombia

Leaders of the ELN who have been negotiating a peace accord with the government since earlier this year said on Twitter they were looking into the report and hoped to "help clarify" the situation.

Derk Bolt, 62, a television presenter and Eugenio Follender, 58, a cameraman, had been searching for the mother of a Colombian child who was adopted in the Netherlands when they disappeared at the weekend.

Two Dutch journalists have reportedly been kidnapped in Colombia by left-wing insurgent group ELN, according to military sources.

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. "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". More than 220,000 people have died and about 5 million have been internally displaced due to the Colombian conflict, which is primarily attributed to FARC, since its founding in 1964.

According to the Colombian police, the two were last seen when they were stopped at a checkpoint near the town of El Tarra - in the same area where a Spanish journalist and several Colombian colleagues were kidnapped a year ago.

The Dutch foreign ministry said it was giving the case its "highest priority" but communication about its efforts "is not in the interest of those involved".

A message about the disappearance of the journalists was posted on the Dutch programme's Facebook page on Tuesday announcing that the show will not be discussing the case until the two are freed. "Maybe I'm allergic to my own memories".

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