A humanitarian commission traveled to the town where the journalists were once seen
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos speaks during a news conference with President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 18, 2017. photo: AP/Susan Walsh, photo: AP/Susan Walsh
21 of June 2017 19:40:05
BOGOTÁ – Two Dutch journalists believed to have been kidnapped by leftist rebels in a volatile region of northeastern Colombia remained in captivity Wednesday as authorities vowed to secure their safe return.In a Facebook post, the show the journalists work for identified them as Eugenio Follender and Derk Bolt. Bolt hosts the television show called Spoorloos (Without a Trace), which attempts to help people find their long-lost blood relatives.The journalists were reporting in El Tarra on Monday when they were captured by members of the National Liberation Army (ELN) according to the Colombian military. ELN leaders, who have been negotiating a peace accord with the government since earlier this year, tweeted that they were looking into the report and hoped to "help clarify" the situation.By late Tuesday, the rebel group said it had still been unable to verify whether any of its members were among those responsible for the kidnapping. The ELN added nonetheless that in a region so deeply afflicted by Colombia's armed conflict that unfamiliar people are sometimes temporarily detained as a precautionary safety measure and that it would be "natural for any insurgent force."Meanwhile, officials and advocates called for their immediate release.