WASHINGTON – The Spanish tourists kidnapped last week in northern Colombia are the victims of an “extortion kidnapping” and their captors are asking for a “significant sum in euros,” the Andean nation’s police chief said Wednesday in Washington.
“It’s a case that we are handling, there are already demands from the kidnappers ... There are several elements pointing to it being the FARC (guerrilla group), or common crime,” Gen. Jose Roberto Leon Riaño said, referring to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
The National Police director came to Washington to take part in a forum concerning the challenges facing Colombia and the advances it has made in the realm of public safety.
When asked about whether it had been ruled out that the kidnappers had fled to Venezuela, the police director said that, as the investigation moves forward, authorities will be able to “clarify many things about who the authors are, who they have and where they are.”
Angel Sanchez Fernandez, 49, and Maria Concepcion Marlaska Sedano, 43, were abducted last Friday in La Guajira, a Colombian province on the border with Venezuela.
Marlaska Sedano is related to Spanish National Court Judge Fernando Grande-Marlaska.
Colombian authorities are working with Spanish police to “achieve a rescue as quickly as possible,” Leon Riaño said.
In Havana, the FARC delegation currently involved in peace talks with the Colombian government on Wednesday denied responsibility for the kidnapping of the Spanish tourists and attributed it to “common crime.”
The kidnappers said they belonged to the FARC when they made contact with relatives of the Spaniards to demand a ransom, according to Colombian police sources. EFE