The kidnapping had been attributed to the FARC after one of the kidnappers supposedly identified himself as a member of the rebel group in a call made to relatives of the hostages, before demanding a ransom for their release.
However, Andres Paris, a member of the FARC negotiating team currently in peace talks with the Colombian government, spoke to press on Wednesday denying the claim.
“We categorically reject this new absurdity, accusing the FARC of actions of common delinquency” he said before reiterating the FARC’s policy to halt all citizen kidnappings.
The FARC agreed to the ban of kidnapping for financial purposes since the rebel Secretariat gave the order on February 2, 2012. However, several reports have since suggested that the practice is still being carried out by rebels units and the ongoing peace talks between the rebels and Colombia’s government were reportedly almost jeopardized after the rebels captured two security guards in early 2013.
Other than an abandoned car discovered close to the Uribia municipality of northern department La Guajira, Colombian authorities reportedly have few leads on the whereabouts of Angel Sanchez Hernandez and Maria Concepcion Marlaska, with a spokesperson for Colombia’s anti-kidnapping police force stating Tuesday: “At the moment we cannot confirm if it was the FARC, the ELN, common criminals or any other illegal armed group operating in the area.”