Colombian rebels free Spanish journalist

Colombian-rebelBogota, (IANS) A Colombian rebel group freed a Spanish journalist in the Catatumbo region after she went missing on May 21.

Salud Hernandez-Mora, a correspondent for Spain’s El Mundo newspaper, was released Friday in a rural zone of the region, officials told local Caracol Radio.

She was transported to the city of Ocana, where she spoke to the media.

Hernandez-Mora was reported missing when she travelled to Catatumbo with the intention of doing a story on the country’s National Liberation Army (ELN) armed group.

In comments Friday to RCN Television, the journalist stated categorically that she was kidnapped.

“I would not voluntarily have my family suffering for 10 days,” she said, acknowledging that while she might be temporarily out of touch due to technical problems or the demands of a story, she would not willingly spend six days incommunicado.

Hernandez-Mora recounted some of the details of her disappearance last Saturday from El Tarra, a town in Catatumbo.

“I got on a motorcycle. I have always been reckless. A reporter has to be reckless, but relatively reckless,” she said, adding “We changed motorcycles several times looking for the rebels.”

After the rebels appeared “They told me ‘you’re going to stay with us a few days’ and they took all my things,” Hernandez-Mora continued.

She said she was in five different locations during the six days she spent with the ELN fighters.

Asked about the two Noticias RCN correspondents who were also abducted by the ELN while in Catatumbo to report on her disappearance, Hernandez-Mora said she was unable to see them during her captivity.

She added, however, that based on what she heard from the ELN, she expected Diego D’Pablos and Carlos Melo to be released within the next 24 hours.

Medaram Jathara

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