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ELN must establish how many kidnapped people it has

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ELN must establish how many kidnapped people it has

In the midst of the controversy that the ELN has generated around what its leaders consider kidnapping, the designated High Commissioner for Peace, Otty Patiño, stated that the national government has a tentative list of those kidnapped by that guerrilla group.

The official indicated that only the ELN can confirm said list.

Patiño stated that “there is a tentative list of kidnapped people, but only the ELN can confirm it.”

As will be remembered, through X’s account, the leader of that group, Antonio García, stated that “the ELN does not carry out kidnappings, it only has prisoners and detainees.”

In this regard, Patiño emphasized that “a person held against his will for economic benefit is a kidnapped person, period.”

The kidnapped

Precisely, the Minister of Defense, Iván Velásquez, stated that currently said insurgent group has around 38 kidnapped people in its possession.”

The official stated that “this is not about a retention, as the ‘elenos’ want to make it known, but rather it is about a crime.”

Velásquez recalled that kidnapping is precisely one of the crimes that has prevented progress in the peace talks.

The Minister said that “When the retention is made for economic or extortion purposes, such as those carried out by the National Liberation Army; That retention is called kidnapping. So to say that there are modalities of this scourge, such as holding people and demanding a reward, is kidnapping and that is a crime. There is no discussion in that, nor can we debate the terms, it is what it is.”

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The designated High Commissioner for Peace stated that one of the priorities at the negotiating table with the ELN is that “it is well known who is being held hostage, since there are many families who are very distressed because they do not know if it is really the ELN who is holding them hostage.” to their loved ones.”

When referring to the ELN’s comment through social networks, he stated that “there is a thematic discussion, of a minor order, in the sense that there is a forced separation of families and enormous suffering for all the people and a condemnation to this crime throughout the country. I believe that freeing themselves from kidnapping will also be a triumph for themselves.”

In that sense, the official indicated that on the issue of the number of kidnapped people in his possession “that has to be established directly by them, of course we have a tentative list, but regarding this there are only suspicions that it really is them, but only the ELN can confirm a definitive list, I do not dare to talk about a list of kidnapped people.”


On the other hand, regarding the statements made by this group that has stated that “if the Government wants this group to stop kidnapping, it must look at how to finance the ELN,” Patiño emphasized that “we have already said clearly that it is not possible to link the issue of financing.”

In that sense, he indicated that “we are not going to finance a ceasefire, surely if this is talked about it will be for the construction of peace, but we cannot link that with the cessation of the kidnapping, because that would be blackmail, which the community would not allow.” international and certainly not the Government itself, these two elements must be separated.”

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