After his arrival at Tababela airport, President Lenin Moreno said at 22:50 this April 12, 2018, that “enough is enough” for the kidnappers of the EL COMERCIO journalism team and gave them a period of 12 hours to present a proof of their existence, otherwise he will go “with all the forcefulness, without contemplation”, against these drug trafficking groups.
That deadline would be completed at 10:50 on Friday, April 13, 2018. The ultimatum of the Government of Ecuador came after the delivery of photographs to the authorities, which allegedly relate to the kidnapping. Moreno canceled his visit to Peru and his participation in the Summit of the Americas and returned from Lima to Quito tonight, along with relatives of journalist Javier Ortega, photographer Paúl Rivas and driver Efraín Segarra, workers of this newspaper kidnapped on March 26 2018 in Mataje, Esmeraldas, when they carried out their journalistic work in the border with Colombia.
“Dear Ecuadorians, enough is enough! Outrage, disgust, pain and anger accompany the hearts of all Ecuadorians. We have always been a country of peace, tolerance, respect. We cannot allow it to be played with that good that has been our most precious asset. In virtue of the respectable and beloved life of our dear fellow journalists, we have been tolerant in the extreme and we have allowed operations to be stopped that we have previously ordered. I was willing to make sacrifices for the lives of our citizens, so that they return alive, but it does not go any further, “he said.
“Dear compatriots. I give these drug traffickers a period of 12 hours to give us proof of the existence of our beloved compatriots. Otherwise, we will go with all the forcefulness, without contemplations, to sanction these violators of human rights and of all the principles of solidarity. I accompany in the sorrow. I have come with the relatives of the dear journalists. I have felt pain as my own, as all Ecuadorians feel. The immense grief that accompanies us.
Moreno said that yesterday afternoon he received a call from President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia. “I told him we were asking, that we requested forceful actions from them. Enough of contemplation, I told him. Strong actions. We cannot let them put their rules. We are going to fight them in the field they have chosen and we will defeat them.”
He said that military incursions in the area have not yet been ordered. In addition, Moreno said that the president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, who, he said, offered him all the support to act against the perpetrators of the kidnapping. In the evening, Santos spoke on Twitter: “I spoke with the president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, and I reiterated that he has and will have my full support, of our Armed Forces and the Colombian people.”
The president was expected from early on. On the outsides of the protocol room at the Mariscal Sucre airport in Quito there was movement of the security and communication equipment. The first to arrive were the vice president, María Alejandra Vicuña, and the president of the Assembly, Elizabeth Cabezas. The vice President said that she had suspended the activities programmed in Azuay and Cañar for “the situation that our country is experiencing at the moment; I will accompany fellow President Lenin on his arrival in the country, “she said.
Prior to Moreno’s intervention, Interior Minister Cesar Navas also referred to photographs in which allegedly appear the bodies of the three members of this newspaper, kidnapped on March 26 in Mataje.
Navas, who appeared with the head of Criminalistics, Fausto Olivo, could not confirm the accuracy of those photos. He assured that the first investigations are not conclusive about the authenticity of the images and that’s why the experts will continue with the investigations. “We have had an approach with the Colombian authorities that have also carried out an analysis and expertise on the photographs and they are not conclusive either.” In addition, said: “The Ecuadorian State, performs and has made the necessary actions for the return of Javier, Paul and Efraín.
We have been generating the necessary operating conditions that allow us to return to Ecuador. ” Then Olivo spoke and said this: “Technical expertise on photographs was made. What logically constitutes a technical constraint, however, we can say that by scientific methods, through the analysis of the garments, these are coincident with two of the people abducted. And through the biometric study of the face, this gives us a high probability that it coincides with another of them “.
In addition, he assured: “Regarding the scene of the event, the corresponding analyzes are being carried out in order to determine the veracity of the facts. But there are probabilities of the scene of the fact that we could only count on the scene, so we will continue to investigate.”
After the intervention of Olivo, Navas assured that there is no confirmation at the moment. “It will continue with the skills. Without a doubt, we are all dismayed.
The authorities indicated that they will continue with the skills to determine and inform if the front group dissident of the FARC Oliver Sinisterra ended the lives of the three kidnapped.
Transcript of the press conference of Minister César Navas on Thursday, April 12, 2018
“I inform on behalf of the National Government that today (Thursday) after receiving photographs where allegedly appear the three citizens kidnapped by a Colombian criminal group, we have proceeded immediately to perform the corresponding skills by criminalistics of the National Police in order to establish the respective conclusions.
The National Government, the President of the Republic, the Ecuadorian State as one has made and performs all necessary actions for the liberation and return to our country of Javier, Paúl and Efraín, for this purpose we have been generating the necessary operative conditions that allow us to achieve their return to Ecuador “.
Statements by Colonel Fausto Olivo, Coordinator of Criminalistics of the Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences Service
“We have carried out technical expertise on photographs, which logically constitutes a technical limitation, however we can say that by scientific methods through the analysis of the garments these are coinciding with two of the kidnapped people and by means of a biometric study of the face, this gives us a high probability that coincides with another of them.
As for the scene of the fact, the corresponding analyzes are being carried out in order to determine the veracity of the images, however there are probabilities of the occurrence of the event, which we could only confirm by counting on the scene, so we will continue to investigate “.
Statements by César Navas
“Because of what Colonel Olivo said, there is no confirmation at the moment, the experts are going to continue and without a doubt all of these dismayed, we have talked with the relatives and we have expressed all the technical information, our solidarity, What has been done and what is going to be done in the coming hours Our country without a doubt today faces new challenges, it is transnational organized crime, which operates from the Colombian territory and which intends to use our border territory to be able to sustain the drug trafficking economy We are not going to allow these criminal economies to get entangled in our country We have not allowed it and we are not allowing it The country is united and must remain united, defending the life and security of all our fellow citizens.
I reiterate the expertise and are conducting the analysis. We have had discussions with the authorities of Colombia who have also made an analysis and expertise to the photographs and are not conclusive, that information has been received by the Ministry of Defense. (I)