Global News

Ecuador's president confirms deaths of kidnapped journalists

Ecuador's president confirms deaths of kidnapped journalists

"This message is for all Ecuadorians: With deep sorrow, I regret to report that after twelve hours of the established deadline, we have not received proof of life and sadly, we have information confirming the murder of our fellow countrymen", the Ecuadorian president said during massive press conference today in Quito.

In late March, two journalists of Ecuadorian El Comercio newspaper and their driver were reported missing in Ecuador's region of Mataje near the Colombian border.

Moreno returned to Ecuador's capital, Quito, late Thursday, after making an early departure from the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru to deal with the situation.

Colombia's RCN network said Thursday that it has handed over to authorities gruesome photos purporting to show the bodies of the three men.

Colombia's president, Juan Manuel Santos, has sent top military and police officers to Quito in order to assist with the crisis. The kidnapping was allegedly carried out by a dissident front of now extinct the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group.

Child's Body Found Along NorCal River In Search For Missing Family
On April 6, a vehicle was reportedly submerged in the Eel River, a little north of the town of Leggett, during heavy rains. The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office also assisted with the use of their jet boat with side scan sonar system.

The Ecuadorean government said on Tuesday that it was not negotiating with the kidnappers, but was analyzing "every possibility" to secure their release. "I'd return to the family of Javier, Paul and Efrain", Moreno tweeted.

"We are torn apart, there are people who've had to seek medical attention to calm down, it's very hard", said Monica Mendoza, a top editor at the century-old newspaper, Ecuador's most-respected and one of its best-selling broadsheets. Rivas, 45, was a prize-winning photographer and collector of antique cameras - more than 40 sit in a glass cabinet at his home - who learned his trade from his father and passed it on to his daughter.

Speaking during a press conference with national and global media Friday, Moreno added the state's security operations will resume in the north border and announces the Colombian Defense Minister is in the country to coordinate actions in the northern border. In Ecuador, only two journalists have been killed since 1992. "The clock starts clicking right now", Moreno said.

Earlier this month, a video emerged allegedly showing the three men with chains around their necks, pleading for their lives.

Moreno announced last month that he was sending 12,000 soldiers and police to combat drug gangs and boost security along the border. Colombia and Ecuador have disputed his nationality: Ecuadorean authorities claim he is Colombian, while Colombian authorities claim he is Ecuadorean.


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