Colombian guerrilla group frees journalist after 20 days of captivity

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  • August 15, 2012

By Liliana Honorato

On Monday, Aug. 13, the Red Cross International Committee reported that the National Liberation Army (ELN in Spanish) freed the journalist and engineer kidnapped by the guerrilla group on July 24. The victims were turned in to a humanitarian commission.

On July 30, the ELN claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of journalist Elida Parra Alfonso, and engineer Gina Paola Uribe Villamizar, who did community work for the Bicentenario Oil Pipeline of Colombia. The women went missing for six days in the town of Saravena, in the department of Arauca. A video showing evidence of the journalist and engineer still alive and in hands of the ELN was broadcast on Wednesday, Aug. 1.

According to the Associated Press, the guerrilla group did not give motives for the kidnapping of the two women. The journalist said that it was the “guerrilla's campaign against the multinational [oil infrastructures] that started operating in the region," reported the Radio Caracol.

According to the news agency EFE, the ELN voluntarily let the women go, and both victims are in good health.

Parra Alfonso is the second journalist kidnapped in 2012 by Colombian guerrillas, which are one of the main threats to Colombian journalists.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.