ELN Guerrilla Escapes with Ecuadorean Hostage
By Dialogo September 12, 2012
A guerrilla abandoned the National Liberation Army (ELN) in the company of an Ecuadorean citizen who had been kidnapped in southern Colombia in 2010, and after four hours they managed to reach a Colombian Navy garrison, informed a Military report on September 10.
According to the report, the ELN guerrilla took off on the morning of September 9, in the company of Orlando Ibarra, an Ecuadorean citizen kidnapped on August 2, 2010, and kept in a rural area of the Samaniego municipality, in the southern Colombian department of Nariño.
In brief remarks to reporters on September 10, Ibarra said that one of his captors offered to help him escape, but initially he did not believe him.
“He said to me, “Do you want to escape?” I said to him, “Don’t tease me”. And he told me that he wanted to help me do it (escape), and I said, “Let’s do it,” specified the former hostage.
Ibarra, who has worked as a company administrator for 39 years, had been kidnapped in his office in the Colombian city of Ipiales (Nariño, which borders Ecuador), where he lived for 10 years.
According to the report, after the escape, the kidnapper and his hostage walked for four hours until they contacted soldiers in Colombia’s Naval Forces 4th Marine Brigade.
Immediately, the country’s Army deployed troops and aircraft to secure the area and remove the insurgent and his former hostage from the area.
The Military report finally pointed out that Ibarra would be transferred to Bogotá on September 17, to be handed over to his family.
The ELN is Colombia’s second largest guerrilla group, with some 2,500 men in arms, according to figures from the Ministry of Defense.