A Conservative Party state deputy from the northeast of Colombia has been kidnapped, local media reported on Tuesday.
Unknown assailants kidnapped Norte de Santander deputy Carlos Navarro Angarita on Monday evening when he was traveling to his home in Ocaña with his two children.
Police told reporters the politician had come from a meeting with members and community groups in the town of Hacari at the time of his kidnapping.
However, en route, three armed men on motorcycles who presented themselves as members of the guerrilla group ELN intercepted him. He was reportedly been taken to a nearby mountainous area.
Angarita reportedly was accompanied by his two children, Karina and Carlos Omar, but local media failed to report on the children’s fate.
According to authorities, Angarita had not received any threats previous to the kidnapping.
Local police forces began a search and rescue operation in the area, and the governor of North of Santander, Edgar Contreras Diaz asked the captors for his immediate release and respect for his life.
Conservative leader and former deputy of the Norte de Santander state, Juan Carlos Arevalo, expressed concern about the revival of violence and kidnapping in the area around Ocaña, where this year there have been 7 incidents, one involving an attack on members of the National Police that left two soldiers dead and one wounded.
Back in 2000, Colombia suffered more than a 3,000 kidnappings a year. However, a military offensive against guerrilla groups and the FARC’s ban on kidnapping has drastically lowered the number of cases. In 2013, less than 3,00 Colombians were kidnapped.
- Secuestran diputado en Norte de Santander (Caracol)
- Secuestrado el diputado conservador Omar Angarita (La Opinion)