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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Second suspect captured in Colombia in connection with abduction of Ecuadorian journalists



The Attorney General’s Office of Ecuador announced the capture of “Cherry,” who they said is the alleged material author of the abduction of the journalistic team from Ecuadorian newspaper El Comercio.

Photo of the abducted journalists from the Twitter account “Nos Faltan 3”

“Cherry” was taken into custody in Nariño, Colombia, but was expected to be transferred to Bogota, according to the announcement made on Twitter.

Photojournalist Paúl Rivas, journalist Javier Ortega and driver Efraín Segarra of Ecuadorian newspaper El Comercio were abducted on March 26 in Mataje near the Colombian border. On April 11, their deaths were reported by a statement allegedly signed by the Oliver Sinisterra Front, a dissident group of the FARC, and later confirmed by Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno.

Colombian newspaper El Tiempo reported that “Cherry” allegedly intercepted the team’s van near the Ecuador-Colombian border on March 26. According to the publication, he allegedly then handed them over to Jesús Vargas Cuajiboy, who was captured earlier this month.

“Alias 'Cherry', according to reports from the Police, has a record with more than eight years linked to different crimes and had become one of the right-hand men of 'Guacho' the head of the FARC's dissidence,” El Tiempo reported.

Guacho” is the reported leader of Oliver Sinisterra Front. The Attorney General’s Office of Colombia reported on July 7 that it obtained an arrest warrant for him “as the main determinator of the abduction of the Ecuadorian journalists.” He is still at-large.



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