Colombia’s police on Thursday announced a $37,000 reward for information leading to the rescue of two presumably kidnapped tourists in the north of the country.
The two Spanish tourists have been reported missing in the northern La Guajira department of Colombia since May 17 and have been kidnapped according to Spain.
The Police’s Public Security chief, General Rodolfo Palomino, said on a visit to La Guajira that the police would pay the reward in return for information that will allow the Spanish tourists to go home.
“We are optimistic,” radio Caracol quoted the general as saying. Palomino stated that besides of the safe release of the tourists it was also important for the department to demonstrate that it could not be held hostages there.
The official said that a investigation team had been searching in the towns of Maicao, Manaure, Uribia and the indigenous communities belonging to the La Guajira department.
According to the officer, they did not rule out the possibility that the Spanish tourist were taken by criminal groups or guerrillas and concluded, “until we release we fail.”
Shortly after the tourists’ disappearance, Colombia’s largest guerrilla group FARC was accused of being behind the alleged kidnapping. These claims were rejected by a spokesman of the rebel group, who denied any involvement.