A judge sentenced an retired army colonel and eight other collaborators to 27 years each in prison for the kidnapping of a bogotano merchant, international media reported Thursday.
According to Bogota‘s Fourth Circuit Criminal Court, Colonel Jorge Eliecer Plazas Acevedo was sentenced in his absence for orderingthe kidnapping of Wilson Martinez Quiroga in November 1998, El Nuevo Heraldo reported Thursday.
A group of armed men kidnapped Quiroga on his way home to a neighborhood in western Bogota and delivered him to Plazas Acevedo, the leader of a criminal organization.
The kidnappers originally asked the family of the victim for a ransom of over $500,000, but eventually brought it down to $45,000. Quiroga’s whereabouts are still unknown.
Plazas Acevedo was originally convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison for the kidnapping of an Israeli national which also took place in 1998. The victim’s family paid the $83,000 ransom, but the kidnappers eventually killed the hostage.
The retired colonel has been on the run from authorities since his escape from a military garrison in April 2003. The military offered a $8,000 reward for information leading to his capture.