An Ecuadorean hostage on Sunday escaped from Colombia’s second largest guerrilla group ELN with one of the rebels who suggested they flee.
During a press conference in Bogota Monday the escaped hostage, Orlando Ibarra, said that ELN members had assassinated his father during his captivity when he went to pay the ransom in Ipiales of the southwest Nariño department, reported Caracol Radio.
“They assassinated my dear father on January 31, 2012, after he paid the ransom in Ipiales, and continued asking for money. These people are motivated by money, not by the struggle of the poor. I learned of the news by radio, the day after they killed him,” said the former hostage.
Ibarra, 39, was kidnapped on August 2, 2010 from his office in Ipiales and held captive for nearly two years. He said that five hooded ELN members arrived and took him before he got into his private vehicle. Allegedly, Ibarra was chained during most of his captivity and never even saw another hostage.
The Ecuadorean explained that while the guerrillas were moving camp, one of the ELN guerrillas who had decided to lay down his arms suggested that they escape.
“When the guerrillas were moving, one of them sped up, leaving the group, and asked me if I wanted to go home. I told him not to mess with me and he said that we had to do it now, so we started to walk and walk. We arrived to a point with a signal, he took his cell phone out and called the National Army to find us,” said Ibarra.
The ELN rebel, whose identity has not been revealed, suggested the plan and escaped with Ibarra Sunday morning when they allegedly walked for four hours before contacting authorities, reported newscast CM&.
The ex-captive was received on Monday in Bogota by the Ecuadorean Ambassador Raul Vallejo and will be reunited with his family.