The Ecuadorian Minister of the Interior, César Navas, revealed today that the authorities knew the demands of the kidnappers who have kept three members of a journalist team since March 26, and that they came to light in a video disclosed by a Colombian media.
“Almost since the beginning of the negotiations,” Navas replied briefly today in Quito to local media who questioned him about whether the government knew the demands of the captors.
The Minister of the Interior soon after held a meeting with the relatives of the three kidnap victims, the journalist Javier Ortega, 32, the photographer Paúl Rivas, 45, and the driver, Efraín Segarra, 60, who had moved from Quito to the province of Esmeraldas (northwest) to make a report on the dominant insecurity in the border area for two months.
The meeting was aimed at “a general recognition of the video that has been circulating on social networks mainly and through the media of Colombia”, in which the three captured with life appear, chained and expressing the terms that their kidnappers have set to release them.
“What a pity that it has been leaked (the video) because it is part of the entire technical process that is being carried out by the work teams of our police,” Navas censured, in line with the official position of the Government of Ecuador that has lamented the “mediatization” that has been made of the material.
However, the head of the Interior considered “positive”, the power to see the kidnapped “alive and in stable conditions.”
Before requesting caution from the media, he acknowledged that the issuance of this proof of public life was part of the contingency plans of the authorities: “During the process we knew that this could happen.”
In the video the kidnapped assure that their lives are in the hands of the Ecuadorian president, Lenin Moreno, and that their captors ask for “the exchange” of three of their comrades “detained in Ecuador” to release them.
In another fragment of the recording, the journalist Javier Ortega states that the kidnappers are part of the Residual Armed Group Oliver Sinisterra, commanded by Walter Patricio Artízala Vernaza, alias “Guacho”, and that was previously part of the column Daniel Aldana of the FARC
This extreme confirms what was affirmed by the commander of the Colombian Military Forces, General Alberto Mejía, who last week attributed the authorship of the kidnapping to dissidents of the FARC.
“Mr. President Lenin Moreno, in your hands are our lives. They just want the exchange of their three detainees in Ecuador for our lives, our three lives to go safe and sound to Ecuador, “said journalist Ortega.
In the video, 22 seconds long and published by the Colombian channel RCN, the journalist added that his captors are also asking for “the cancellation of that agreement that Ecuador and Colombia have to end terrorism” (I)