AMERICA/COLOMBIA - The Church mediates for the release of journalists kidnapped in the north of Santander

Friday, 23 June 2017

Bogotà (Agenzia Fides) - "ELN rebels in a conflict area of northeastern Colombia informs that the two Dutch kidnapped are in good health and will be released with a statement", reads the social media account of the guerrillas. According to the note sent to Fides by a local radio, ELN confirmed it kidnapped 62-year-old Derk Johannes Bolt and 58-year-old Eugenio Ernest Marie Follender. Both were kidnapped on June 19 in El Tarra, north of Santander.
A government representative and members of the Catholic Church contacted the ELN group for their release, which could happen today.
On June 21, Mgr. Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga, Archbishop of Tunja and President of the Colombian Bishops' Conference, issued a statement in which it states that the Church will mediate. As the Bishops Conference announces, "ELN has been called upon to cease the bilateral fire and set the benchmarks in the path to peace".
The journalists kidnapped worked for the Spoorloos program, which helps Dutch settlers to find their biological families around the world. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 23/06/2017)