BOGOTA – The National Liberation Army (ELN), Colombia’s second-largest guerrilla group, released on a highway of the northwestern province of Choco the ex-governor of that region, Patrocinio Sanchez Montes de Oca, whom they held hostage for almost 14 months, local media reported.
The politician was dropped off by his captors Friday on a highway between the municipalities of Yuto and Lloro near the place he was kidnapped on Aug. 25, 2013, according to Caracol Radio.
During the time Sanchez was held prisoner, his family received proof that he was alive and the guerrillas made no demands, either political or economic.
A police official in Quibdo, the provincial capital, when consulted by Efe said they are trying to confirm the truth of the story that the governor has been freed, an account that he said has been circulating on social networks though it has not yet been verified.
Sanchez was mayor of Quibdo between 2001-2003, and governor of Choco from 2008 to 2010, when the Supreme Court convicted him of corruption over irregularities in health contracts he signed as mayor and sentenced him to 18 months in prison.
The Sanchez Montes de Oca family is a powerful clan and one that over the past two decades has held significant political power in Choco, the country’s poorest province.