UN urges the release of four hostages in Colombia

Bogota, Dec 19 (EFE).- On Tuesday, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) in Colombia called for the release of four people reportedly being held hostage in the department of Arauca, on the border with Venezuela.

The first case corresponds to Hugo Vanegas, a farmer who disappeared last Dec. 12 in a rural area of the municipality of Tame without any information about his whereabouts, UNHCR said through its social networks.

The organization also demanded the release of Juan Pablo Guerrero, Miguel Antonio Guerrero, and José Luciano Mora, the latter of whom reached the age of majority in captivity.

These people have been kidnapped for more than two months, yet it is still unknown which armed group is holding them.

In Arauca, one of Colombia’s most difficult regions, guerrillas from the National Liberation Army (ELN) and dissidents from the former FARC are fighting for territorial control.

Just in the last few weeks, both the ELN and the Estado Mayor Central (EMC), the main dissident group within FARC, have announced that they will stop kidnapping for profit amid peace negotiations with the government of Colombia.

The Ombudsman’s Office of Colombia reported last week that it is aware of 91 kidnappings this year, including three minors who are still being held, according to government reports. EFE


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