President Juan Manuel Santos on Sunday said that authorities have captured three members from the country’s second largest guerrilla group, ELN, who participated in the kidnapping of five gold miners last week.
Following the kidnapping of five foreign gold prospectors in the northern part of the country, Santos announced that three of the alleged kidnappers, two of whom are reportedly minors, have been apprehended.
According to Colombia’s army chief Alejandro Navas, a group of 20 to 25 rebels entered the village of Caso de Barro in Bolivar province on Friday in order to kidnap the group. The Toronto-based Braeval Mining Corp. said that the kidnapped prospectors, Canadian Jernoc Wobert, Peruvians Jose Manami and Javier Ochoa, and Colombians William Batista and Manuel Francisco Zabaleta, remain in rebel hands. The three employees and two consultants were reportedly working at the company’s Snow Mine gold and silver project.
Special forces have been sent to the area to help find the kidnappers. The two captured minors are in the hands of Colombia’s family welfare unit.
The Colombian army has offered a reward of over $50,000 for information on the kidnappers.