The ELN, Colombia’s second largest guerrilla group, on Monday demanded proof that the two Germans the rebels kidnapped in late 2012 are not spies as the left-wing insurgents have claimed.
BACKGROUND: ELN kidnaps 2 Germans in northern Colombia
“In relation to Breur Uwe and Breuer Gunther Otto, of supposed German nationality, captured by our units in the [northwestern] region of Catatumbo (near the Venezuelan border), we ask their relatives to send effective proof of veracity of their ties with the two men we have detained,” read the ELN’s statement.
The guerrillas also requested that the former employers of the two Germans provide evidence of their working relationship.
“Likewise we request the German companny for which the aforementioned gentlemen work, or worked for, demonstrate their respective labor ties,” the statement continued.
Finally, the ELN requested that the German government appoint one of its representatives in Colombia to be the intermediary between the rebels and the Colombian government in order to bring about a speedy resolution to the situation.
The two German kidnap victims were allegedly kidnapped by the ELN on November 3, 2012, in area close to the Venezuelan border. The ELN claimed that they were spies, an accusation that Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has categorically denied.
The German government last Tuesday assembled a hostage crisis team dedicated to the extraction of the German nationals.
BACKGROUND: Germany creates hostage ‘crisis team’