Colombia’s authorities are not convinced of the alleged weekend kidnapping and return of the main whistle-blower of a major sex scandal within the Police.
Captain Anyelo Palacios was allegedly kidnapped in the northeastern Norte de Santander on Saturday. His family reported receiving a call around 1am on Sunday informing them that he had been found.
While authorities have yet to determine the reason for his capture, Colombian Police Chief General Jorge Hernando Nieto explained that they “are not ruling anything out” just yet.
“We are investigating in order to find out the motive behind the facts,” Nieto said.
In the investigation into the alleged abduction researchers do not rule out any hypothesis and will investigate everything from actions of an illegal armed group to a self-kidnapping.
According to the version delivered by relatives of Palacio, he was kidnapped Saturday night in Cúcuta-Pamplona by four men on motorcycles while travelling with his stepfather.
Questions have emerged as to why the incident was not reported immediately.
According to the witness, the men who took him said they would return him in an hour to the same site. When this did not occur, the police captain’s stepfather reported the kidnapping.
It has also been noted that Captain Palacio did not adhere to the security measures that are recommended when traveling by land.
The route between Cucuta and Florencia (Caqueta) would be about 72 hours. One of his relatives said it was not the first time that Palacio made this long journey.
However, police have questioned the behavior of such an official, particularly given his involvement in such a high profile legal case. “These are risks that no official can run” said a police source.
Coincidentally, the officer had rejected the offer on Tuesday of the Prosecutor General for entry to the witness protection program, but then in an interview with international media he expressed fear about the risk to his life.
The aftermath of the kidnapping has also generated doubts amongst investigators. Police responded to the report by stepping up patrols in the area. Yet despite this, Captain Palacio managed to flee his captors without anyone seeing him.
Secretary of Government of Norte de Santander, Djebrail Hadad, said that in the area where the incident took place there is no presence of groups outside the law. “We have no information, neither the police has informed us that a group outside the law has any connection with the kidnapping,” he said.
On Monday, General Lopez Cruz, director of the Gaula Police said interviews will be conducted to establish the physical traits of the four men accused of committing the kidnapping.
General Lopez Cruz, who traveled to Cucuta to coordinate official rescue , said he is waiting for the right time to proceed with the interview in which officer can deliver his version of events.
Captain Palacio remains in the Health Unit of the police in Cucuta, where he was taken by symptoms of hypothermia and dehydration.
This alleged kidnapping of Captain Anyelo Palacios comes just months after his testimonies about the so-called “Community of the Ring” spurred the resignation of the vice-Minister of the Interior and the director of the National Police.
Palacios remains the key witness in an investigation that includes the alleged homicide of a female cadet who was killed, according to her family, just before she wanted to make the police prostitution practices public.
Colombia’s Defense Minister has admitted to the existence of the ring, but investigations into alleged sexual misconduct or harassment have proven difficult.