The vice president of Colombia, Óscar Naranjo, assured that the authorities of the country have as a “priority” to close the way to those who want to sow violence in the border area with Ecuador, where a journalistic team of El Comercio was murdered and two civilians were kidnapped.
This was expressed Naranjo at the end of a meeting of senior government officials held at the Casa de Nariño, headquarters of the Executive.
“At this moment there is a military, police and judicial priority in the Colombian border area to effectively help to close the way for those who want to sow violence in that binational zone.” The Ecuadorian Minister of the Interior, César Navas, confirmed the kidnapping of two citizens of that country, in the border area with Colombia at the hands of a dissident group of the FARC calling itself “Oliver Sinisterra Front”, led by alias “Guacho”, whose real name is Walter Patricio Arizala Vernaza.
“Guacho” is also the main person responsible for the murder of the El Comercio press team, composed of journalist Javier Ortega, 36; the photographer Paúl Rivas, 45, and the driver Efraín Segarra, 60.
Vice President Naranjo assured that “search, location and capture operations” of “Guacho” have been intensified, for which the Colombian Government has offered a reward of up to 400 million pesos (about 147,000 dollars) in exchange for information about the dissident.
He reiterated that Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos offered Ecuador “all its cooperation to overcome a situation” that he regretted and condemned. According to the Ecuadorian government, the abduction and murder of the journalistic team, as well as the kidnapping of the couple, sharpened the fight against drug traffickers in the border province of Esmeraldas.
Since the end of January, in that area, dissidents of the FARC ex guerrilla have exploded at least seven explosives. In those attacks, four soldiers have been killed and three dozen have been wounded in different ways. (I)