According to several local media, a group of ten heavily armed men attacked the home of governor Luis Francisco Cuellar Carvajal in the center of the capital of Caqueta, Florencia. The governor was taken out of his home and pushed into a car. Nothing was heard from him since.
One policemen who was part of the governor’s security ring was killed in the attack, authorities say.
The department’s Secretary of Government, Edilberto Ramon Endo confirmed the kidnapping, but would not get into rumors concerning the assassination of the governor.
The official told media that the governor had felt threatened by the FARC and already had requested increased government against possible attempts to kidnap or kill him. “There is no other group active here but the FARC, it is highly likely it was them who kidnapped him,” Endo told newspaper El Tiempo.
According to television station Caracol, President Alvaro Uribe sent National Police director Oscar Naranjo to the department to coordinate the kidnapping investigation and heavy fighting broke out between state troops and guerrillas in the periphery of the department.
The FARC have not kidnapped high-profile politicians since 2002 when the rebels able to kidnap presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, former Defense minister Gilberto Echeverri and twelve deputies from the Valle del Cauca department. The rebels released the last politician in rebel captivity, Sigifredo Lopez, exactly one year ago.