The governor of Arauca and the commander of the 14th Brigade of the Colombian Army both insisted Tuesday that the leftist guerrilla group FARC were responsible for the kidnapping of a 10-year-old who was released Monday.
Luis Ataya, the governor of the northeastern department, asserted that “everything points to the FARC having had Nhora Valentina.” While in a radio interview, General Eduardo Reyes claimed that the FARC’s 10th Front kidnapped the girl so as to halt military action, allowing them to move into Venezuela.
Ataya added the Colombian Army arrested two suspected FARC members shortly after the girl was collected by the Red Cross in the rural municipality of Arauquita. He claims that the two men were found with clothing belonging to the girl, providing further evidence of the FARC’s involvement.
The FARC have denied responsibility for the kidnapping, while fellow guerrilla group the ELN have also distanced themselves from the incident and condemned the action. The International Red Cross, who arranged the cease-fire and helped negotiate the girls release, has not commented on the claims nor publicly identified the perpetrators.
Nhora was released on Monday, 19 days after her abduction, which attracted widespread international condemnation.