Colombia’s last standing Marxist rebel group the ELN said via it’s Twitter account on Tuesday that it is “investigating” the facts surrounding the reported kidnapping of two Dutch journalists in the northeast of the country.
The Ombudsman’s Office tweeted that the reported journalists were “retained” in El Tarra, a municipality in the mainly lawless region of Catatumbo, Norte de Santander but the facts of who is responsible have not yet come to light.
Colombia’s national army claimed that he ELN rebels were responsible and through their Twitter account the guerrillas indicated that “we are investigating to help clarify the case.”
— ELN Paz (@ELN_Paz) June 20, 2017
The kidnapping took place on Saturday when the two journalists, Derk Johannes Bolt and Eugenio Ernest were driving in a truck on an assignment for the “Spoorloos” Dutch TV program.
Bolt and Ernest were tracking down the biological mother of a Colombian girl who was adopted in the Netherlands years ago.
According to local media, the journalists are in the hands of guerrilla group ELN, the dominant illegal armed group in the area around El Tarra.
Despite this latest tweet, the group has not confirmed nor denied it’s involvement.
The group is currently engaged in peace talks with the Colombian government in the Ecuadorean capital of Quito but in spite of this, it continues to engage in the practice of kidnapping.
In the same area of El Tarra, the ELN kidnapped the Colombian-Spanish journalist Salud Hernandez and two Colombian reporters from RCN television in May 2016, only to release them to a humanitarian organization days later.