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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

FARC guerrillas suspected of kidnapping French journalist based in Colombia



A French journalist disappeared and is suspected of being kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC in Spanish) after being injured during combat between the Colombian Army troops and guerrillas on Saturday, April 28, according to Reporters Without Borders.

The journalist, a correspondent for France 24 and contributor for Paris daily Le Figaro, Roméo Langlois, who was based in Colombia, had joined the troops to cover an anti-drug raid close to the city of La Monañita, south of the Caquetá department, when he disappeared, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said.

The government of France said that FARC rebels were responsible for the kidnapping and for the life of the journalist and asked that they set him free immediately “in line with a pledge the group has made to stop taking hostages for ransom,” Reuters said. But the Colombian government still considers the journalist as having disappeared, although it said that it was "very feasible" that he might have been kidnapped by the FARC, the news agency AFP said.

According to the newspaper El Tiempo, the Colombian government will begin operations to rescue the journalist “only if they have information about his whereabouts and if the French government agrees.”

The Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP in Spanish) expressed its concern for the journalist’s safety and asked that the issue be resolved as soon as possible. “Roméo Langlois’s situation demonstrates, once again, the difficult conditions and the danger that journalism faces when covering issues related to armed conflict,” FLIP said.



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