The governor of Colombia’s Nariño department, Antonio Navarro, said he believes guerrilla group the ELN is responsible for the kidnapping of seven people traveling through the region on Thursday.
Speaking to W Radio on Friday, Navarro said that although the abduction was initially attributed to Colombia’s biggest rebel group the FARC, new analysis suggests that it was in fact insurgent action by the ELN (National Liberation Army), a rival guerrilla group.
“It was assumed, initially, that it was the FARC, but now we believe it was the ELN, given the location in which they are mobile,” explained the governor.
Navarro went on to criticize the Colombian government’s “democratic security” policy, in which police and army presence is increased to protect civilians.
The governor said that although the scheme may work well in Bogota, its effectiveness reduces significantly the further one moves from the capital city, and Nariño is a “far and wild place.”
Nariño’s authorities on Thursday received reports of men dressed in camouflage on the road between the towns of Pasto and Tumaco, who are believed to have later kidnapped seven people.
The Colombian army and air force are searching the surrounding jungle for any sign of the abducted group.
One of the goals of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe’s democratic security policy is to completely do away with roadside kidnappings.