Colombia’s security forces may have found the bodies of three murdered Ecuadorean journalists, President Juan Manuel Santos said Thursday.
The bodies of the journalists were allegedly found together with a fourth body in a clandestine grave in Tumaco, a coca-growing municipality in the southwestern Nariño province. Medical examiners were verifying the identity of the victims, Santos said in a tweet.
The president reiterated “my condolences to their families and repudiation” of the kidnapping of the two journalists and their driver in Ecuador, and their killing in Colombia by rogue guerrillas.
The workers of El Comercio, a newspaper from the Ecuadorean capital Quito, disappeared in March in the north of their country and were presumably taken across the jungle border with Colombia where they were held hostage and killed.
The kidnapping and preceding attacks on Ecuadorean security forces have increased tensions in the border region that is one of the main trafficking routes for cocaine produced in the southwest of Colombia.
Santos and his Ecuadorean counterpart Lenin Moreno promised increased cooperation between the two countries’ armed forces to either capture or kill “Guacho” and dismantle his group of FARC dissidents.