Colombia’s police on Saturday announced the rescue of two Spanish tourists who had been kidnapped while traveling through the north of the country.
The two were found by an anti-kidnapping unit just after midnight in a building outside the city of Maicao, a local police commander told Spanish news agency EFE.
The two kidnapping victims, Maria Concepcion Marlaska (43) and Angel Fernandez Sanchez (49), were in good shape when the police found them, “just a little dehydrated and very tired,” colonel Elber Velasco said.
“They are very content, very happy, they can’t believe they were rescued.”
The Gaula, the anti-kidnapping unit of the National Police, led the rescue operation in outside of Maicao, a city close to the border with Venezuela. Velsaco said the two were rescued without the use of violence.
Following the rescue operation, the Spaniards were taken to a hospital in Santa Marta for a brief check up after which they were taken to the capital Bogota.
Colombian President Santos celebrated the release on Twitter, saying that the successful rescue mission “again confirms increased effectiveness of the Police … and efforts to build a safer country.”
Liberación de turistas españoles confirma una vez más efectividad de Policía (muchas felicitaciones) y empeño en construir un país seguro.
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) June 15, 2013
The Spanish government reported the two tourists missing and assumed kidnapped on May 21. The Spaniards had bee kidnapped a few days before while on their way to Cabo de la Vela, the most northern point of Colombia and located in the desolate Guajira desert.
MORE: Spanish tourists ‘kidnapped’ in northern Colombia
The Spaniards’ kidnapping was the third of foreigners this year. The FARC kidnapped and subsequently released two German tourists in the troubled northwestern Catatumbo region and the ELN kidnapped a Canadian miner in the north of the country. The Canadian is still held by its captors.
MORE: Colombia kidnapping statistics