Bogota: Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) rebel group released two TV reporters who were abducted when they entered militant-held territory in search of another abducted journalist.
Diego D’Pablos and cameraman Carlos Melo, who work for Colombia’s RCN TV, “returned safe and sound to freedom”, the news network said on Saturday.
After being held for five days, the men were released around near Cucuta, the capital of Norte de Santander department, where they had been seized “while reporting on the detention of Spanish journalist Salud Hernandez,” RCN said.
Hernandez, a reporter for Spanish newspaper El Mundo and columnist for various dailies, was released on Friday. She said she had gone to the area to cover the ongoing conflict between the government and rebel groups, Xinhua news agency reported.
In a message directed at the ELN, D’Pablos said: “Don’t kidnap anybody again, don’t detain anybody again. This is a very nice country and there’s no reason why we should experience such situations.”
The reporter said they were “treated well”, but that being held in the jungle away from his family “was very tough”.
The ELN is Colombia’s second-largest insurgent group.