Colombia’s defense ministry said Wednesday that a press statement in which FARC dissidents claimed to have killed two Ecuadorean journalists and their driver is false.
News media from both Colombia and Ecuador published the statement in which the “Oliver Sinisterra Front” allegedly claimed that the Ecuadorean citizens were killed in a military rescue operation.
According to Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas, there exists no evidence to confirm this claim or verify the veracity of the statement.
“We have not found anything that allow us to confirm the authenticity” of the statement, said Villegas.
“We hope to see a happy end to this heinous act,” the defense minister added in a statement to the press.
The journalists were kidnapped in northern Ecuador on March 26 and were believed to be held hostage in Colombia.
The so-called Oliver Sinisterra Front demanded the release of three jailed members of their group and an end of a bilateral anti-terrorism deal for the safe return of the journalists of newspaper El Comercio.
The group is led by “Guacho,” a former FARC guerrilla from Ecuador who abandoned the peace process with the FARC in late 2016.
Since then, his group has grown to have some 500 members and is accused of controlling most drug trafficking activities in the border region between the two countries close to the Pacific Ocean.