Ecuador president says journalists were killed

Howard TerryApr 14, 2018

Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno gives a news conference after two Ecuadorean journalists and their driver, who were kidnapped last month by Colombian insurgents, have been killed, in Quito, Ecuador April 13, 2018.

The journalists and their driver were on assignment for the Quito-based El Comercio newspaper on the border between Ecuador and Colombia when they were seized on March 26. "We stay in touch with worldwide organizations to coordinate the return of the bodies", Moreno stated at a press conference in Ecuador's capital, Quito.

"Despite our best efforts, we've confirmed that these criminals never had the intention of handing them back safe and sound", Moreno said.

Bogota also sent troops into the dense jungle border zone where the remnants of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel group operate - a key point on the trade route for drugs destined for Central America or the United States. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos dispatched his top military advisers to Quito to assist in the military planning.

However forensic experts in both countries were unable to confirm the authenticity of the images, exasperating press groups and family members who say the government had been taking the incident too lightly.

The killing of journalists is rare in Ecuador which has seen the local press report on the Colombian civil war for decades but have rarely been targeted by the rebels.

On Thursday a Colombian TV network said it obtained gruesome photos purporting to show the bodies of the three men.

The region has always been a hotbed for Colombian drug traffickers and rebel groups (which are often the same), and has been the setting for a string of recent attacks against military targets.

Earlier this week, authorities dismissed as fake a statement signed by the captors claiming the journalists were killed during a military raid co-ordinated by the two governments.

The Ecuadorean government said on Tuesday that it was not negotiating with the kidnappers, but was analyzing "every possibility" to secure their release.

Ecuador's military has blamed the abduction on the Oliver Sinisterra Front, a group which counts between 70 and 80 rebels and is headed by Walter Artizala, an Ecuadoran in his 30s who goes by the name "Guacho".

Interior Minister Cesar Navas said earlier this week that the violence in the province, including a auto bomb in January and the killing of four marines on patrol by a nail bomb in March, has escalated because the new Moreno administration had taken the threat of drug trafficking seriously and arrested leading members of the breakaway rebel group.

Moreno announced in March that he was boosting security to the region, sending 12,000 soldiers and police to combat drug gangs. That represents about 10 per cent of the small nation's police officers and troops.

Related Articles:

« Previous article
Next article »

Popular Pages

Critics Sing Praises For New God Of War Game
You're in control of when Atreus fires, and must manage how many arrows he has at his disposal carefully during a lengthy battle. When the original God of War came out in 2005, players were more likely than not to be sprawled in a student bedsit.

Simbine, Ahye win 100m gold
After crossing the line, the 31-year-old did two push-ups on the track to show his fitness and grinned at the TV camera.

Georgian PM congratulates Ilham Aliyev on re-election as Azerbaijani president
In a statement, the opposition group also alleged widespread violations including people voting multiple times. Seven candidates ran, but critics questioned whether they were actual opponents.

Mansfield Fire Dept. Extinguishes Friday Morning House Fire
The Pontotoc County Sheriff's Department and State Fire Marshal's Office are now working to determine the cause of the fire. Prince Albert Fire Department crews were still on site this morning after getting an early wake-up call.

Congress stoops to any level to retain power: Amit Shah
Later, the BJP leaders will have meals prepared from cereals collected from the farmers and their families to express solidarity. He said the Indian democracy had suffered a setback as a result of the ongoing activities by the Opposition parties.

Hamilton fastest in China GP practice but Ferrari close behind
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel has won the first two races with Hamilton second in Australia and third in Bahrain. The former champions have finished on the podium in China in the last two years.

Sony's PS5 Is Likely Several Years Away
At this point, the most likely scenario would be Sony announcing the PS4 successor sometime in 2020, or possibly later than that. A dev kit is an early builds of a console's likely hardware, and early dev kits are usually just a PC built to a certain spec.

Headlines Expand, Blizzard Conditions on Doorstep
CSP officials also said every north and south highway in northeast Colorado is closed due to snow, wind or both. Winds, likely to reach speeds between 50 and 80 miles per hour, could bring white out conditions to the area.

New 2019 Chevrolet Camaro Lineup Revealed
It also includes an electronic limited-slip differential, Magnetic Ride Control, and FE4 performance suspension. HSV has already stated that the Camaro will wear the Chevrolet Bow Tie in Australia and not the HSV badge.

Sea Of Thieves Updates Detailed, Will Bring Free New Content
With the event model, Rare says that there will be rewards that can only be earned by playing the game during the event window. One example mentioned by Rare is underwater caves and reefs where an NPC could send players on a quest to find lost treasure.