Guerrilla group kidnaps Spaniards in Colombia

Guerrilla group kidnaps Spaniards in Colombia
The kidnappers claim they're part of Colombia's Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) but authorities deny it. Photo:Luis Robayo/AFP
Two Spanish tourists were kidnapped on Friday in a remote area of northeast Colombia by a group that claims to be part of the country’s notorious armed group FARC, Spain’s foreign ministry reported on Tuesday.

Although Spanish authorities haven’t released the couple’s names, Bogota newspaper El Tiempo has identified them as Ángel Sánchez Fernández and María Concepción Marlaska Sedano.

It remains unclear whether the captors are actually part of Colombia’s main “terrorist” group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

According to sources close to Spanish news agency EFE, the fact that the abductors asked the victims’ families for a ransom on the day after the kidnapping is a reason to mistrust their claims as it goes against FARC’S modus operandi.

Efe also reported that the woman is a relative of high-profile judge Fernando Grande-Marlaska.

The Associated Press said on Tuesday that the middle-aged couple were last spotted in the coastal city of Santa Marta a week ago.

El Tiempo newspaper wrote that the Spanish couple had rented a car in Bogotá and were heading to the beach resort of Cabo de la Vela before they were kidnapped on Friday.

But local residents who have been questioned haven’t been able to provide any information as to what might have happened to the couple after that.

They left their luggage behind at a hotel in the Guajira region, an area renowned for its heavy paramilitary and drug trafficker presence

Their car was found with a broken window at a ranch about 85 kilometres outside of the town of Uribia, El Tiempo reported.

Colombian authorities now suspect the couple have been taken across the border to Venezuela. 

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