Two police officers who were reported kidnapped on Saturday have been found dead in the southwestern state of Nariño, authorities said Tuesday.
The victims’ bodies were discovered by a river in the township of San Vicente in the Tumaco municipality where they were initially kidnapped while working with local communities.
The two officers were found with gunshot wounds indicating that they had been executed, reported Caracol Radio.
The officers have been identified as Major German Mendez and patrolman Luis Felipe Muñoz.
According to the Governor of the Nariño state, Victor Gallo, while nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the murders, there is no other currently active armed group in the sector other than the FARC, reported RCN.
On his Twitter account, the director of the National Police, General Rodolfo Palomino, called the murders a “vile assassination” and declared, “we will capture the bandits who assassinated them.”
Repudiamos vil asesinato de nuestros Policías en Tumaco, solidario con sus familias. Daremos captura a los bandidos que los asesinaron.
— General Palomino (@GeneralPalomino) March 18, 2014
General Rodolfo Palomino of the National Police released a report on Tuesday stating that a reward of $50,000 would be given for the capture of those responsible for the murders.
The attack has been linked to Colombia’s oldest rebel group, the FARC, despite them having not taken responsibility for the attack and the fact that it would mean the rebel group has broken a good will promise to end its longstanding practice of kidnapping throughout the country during ongoing negotiations with the Colombian government.
According to the statement from General Palomino, the police are looking for “three men known by the alias’ of ‘Tachuela’, ‘Ferney’ and ‘Yomba’ who we believe to be responsible for this heinous crime on people who were not fighting; they were police officers working to recover social cohesion.”
Ombudsman Jorge Armando Gómez has also released a statement in which he “lamented and condemned the killing of two police officers” and sent his “condolences to the families of the soldiers as well as the Director General of Police, General Rodolfo Palomino.”