An Ecuadorean teenager will return home after more than 40 days in captivity, Colombia media reported Thursday.
Five armed men siezed the 13-year-old boy and his mother in the northern Ecuadorian province of Esmeraldas on April 25, Colombian newspaper El Tiempo reported. The kidnappers released his mother a month later, but continued to demand $500,000 for the boy’s ransom.
His family, who runs a food-marketing business in Ecuador, delivered $41,300 to the criminal band at a drop-off point in Puerto Palma along Colombia’s southern Pacific Coast.
Colombian forces then arrested one of the captors, facilitating a joint rescue operation between the anti-kidnapping branches of Colombian and Ecuadorian police.
Police found the child on the second floor of a makeshift bedroom in Timbiqui, a small town near the Pacific coast in the western Colombian department of Cauca.
Though police officials said they have not yet determined which criminal group was behind the kidnapping, they suspect FARC involvement as the area around Timbiqui has a strong guerrilla presence.
Police transferred the boy to a Bogota hospital for medical care.