The search for 10 apparent holiday-makers kidnapped in the west of Antioquia Sunday will be conducted by the anti-kidnapping and extortion unit Gaula along with police, despite the fact no relatives have reported them missing.
The commander of the Antioquia Police, Colonel Jose Gerardo Acevedo Ossa, told El Colombiano Tuesday that Gaula and the police will conduct searches throughout western Antioquia as well as in Medellin since “it has not been ruled out that they were taken to the Antioquian capital.”
Caracol Radio reported that the secretary of the Antioquia government, Andres Julian Rendon Cardona, said no family members of the people taken from a farm in the Sopetran municipality had formally registered them as missing. He added that the report of the presumed kidnapping was handed in to the police 12 hours after the incident and that so far “There have been no calls demanding ransom.”
Rendon Cardona reiterated that the incident was part of an internal war between factions of the criminal group “Oficina de Envigado,” a fact with which the Mayor of Sopetran John WIlmar Villa Guerra agreed, adding that narco-trafficking criminal gangs have spread out from Medellin into other areas of the department.
Meanwhile the Commander of the Army’s 4th Brigade, Brigadier General Alberto Jose Mejia, said that they cannot rule out the possibility that the gang has taken the 10 people to some rural villages in the municipality of Sopetran and said that operations will be maintained throughout the department “to try to find these people no matter who they may be, because for us the most important thing is the human rights of these people”.