The bodies of three reporters who were kidnapped in Ecuador and killed in Colombia earlier this year were flown to Quito where they received a hero’s welcome.
The return home of the bodies of journalists Javier Ortega and Paul Riveras and driver Efrain Segarra bought a sad end to a three-month nightmare for their families.
Guacho’s dissident group, the so-called “Oliver Sinisterra Front,” killed the hostages two weeks later, but failed to return the bodies amid military operations in the border area.
The FARC dissident group said they sought a temporary ceasefire to return the bodies, but this was rejected both in Bogota and Quito.
Since then, authorities have been looking for the remains in the area around the Colombian port town of Tumaco where Guacho and his fighters control much of the area.
The family members of the team of newspaper El Comercio from Quito on multiple occasions clashed with Colombian authorities about their alleged inability to coordinate the operation to locate and return the remains of reporting team.
Colombia’s Defense Minister announced on Friday that he believed that the bodies had been found, after which the remains were taken to the city of Cali for DNA testing.
Once forensic scientists confirmed the identities of the bodies, the operation to repatriate them commenced.
The bodies two journalists and their driver were received with an honorary rainbow as they arrived at the Mariscal Sucre airport in Quito.
Following the ceremony, the bodies were taken to funeral homes to grant the families of the journalist and their driver their long-awaited opportunity for the final goodbye.
A public ceremony will be held on Thursday before the journalists and their driver will be taken to their final resting place.