The two Ecuadorean journalists and their driver who were kidnapped by dissident FARC guerrillas were killed by their captors, according to a statement attributed to the group.
The journalists were kidnapped in northern Ecuador on March 26 and were believed to be held hostage in Colombia.
The so-called Oliver Sinisterra Front demanded the release of three jailed members of their group and an end of a bilateral anti-terrorism deal for the safe return of the journalists of newspaper El Comercio.
In the statement, the group said the hostages were killed during an military operation that sought to rescue them.
We inform the public and the family members of three captured Ecuadoreans that the government of Ecuador and the ministry of Colombia did not want to save the lives of the three prisoners. They tried to do this through military means, landing in the various points where the men were held which resulted in the death of the two journalists and the driver.
Oliver Sinisterra Front
The group said to “profoundly regret” the death of the hostages.
Authorities have yet to confirm the veracity of the statement that was published by Colombian media.
The Oliver Sinisterra Front is led by “Guacho,” a former FARC guerrilla from Ecuador who abandoned the peace process with his guerrilla group in late 2016.
Since then, the group has grown to have some 500 members and is accused of controlling most drug trafficking activities in the border region between the two countries close to the Pacific Ocean.