The release of two German tourists who had been kidnapped by rebel group ELN has been suspended after the guerrillas and hostages failed to arrive at the agreed point of surrender, the Red Cross said Thursday.
The international humanitarian organization had agreed to pick up the hostages on a location in the north in Colombia as agreed with Colombia’s second largest rebel group.
The Red Cross did not say why the hostage release was suspended and when the rebels and Red Cross plan to resume the operation.
Earlier in the day, the Red Cross said the hostages would be released “this afternoon.”
The two retired Germans, Uwe and Gunther Otto Breur, were captured by ELN rebels in the northern Catatumbo region in November last year. The rebels announced their captivity in January and said the foreigners were considered “foreign intelligence agents until proven otherwise.”
The International Comittee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been working together with Colombian ex-politicians Horacio Serpa and Jaime Bernal Cuellar since February to negotiate a release of the foreigners.
BACKGROUND: Colombia kidnapping statistics
- Media reports