The release of a 10-year-old girl who had been kidnapped in the northeast of Colombia two weeks ago failed Friday.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who had ordered the army to clear the area in the Arauca department where the release was planned, expressed his frustration about the botched release.
“We had our hopes up that this cruelly kidnapped girl would be returning home today, but the Red Cross informed us that these criminals had not kept their word and the Red Cross returned empty-handed,” Santos said in the city of Pereira.
According to Caracol Radio, the Red Cross had not been able to contact the kidnappers of the girl at the time she was supposed to be released. Members of the humanitarian mission told the radio station that they are awaiting new orders by the kidnappers.
Both the family and the kidnappers agreed that the Red Cross would mediate the girl’s release, the Red Cross said.
The 10-year-old Nohora Valentina Muñoz was kidnapped on September 29 by an unknown armed group. The FARC and ELN, two leftist guerrilla groups that are highly active in the region, have both denied involvement in the kidnapping.