- Hernandez went missing on May 21 in a remote region near border with Venezuela
- Salud Hernandez and Two other journalist were released by the Leftist Guerrilla group
- The spanish Journalist was delivered to a Catholic priest in the town of Torrán (Bogota, Colombia)
Salud Hernandez , a Spanish journalist disappeared on May 21 was released on Friday by Marxist guerrilla group in Colombia with 2 other journalist after almost a week in captivity.
It seems that she disappeared while covering a story in remote region near the border with Venezuela and was inhabited by the guerrilla group.
Salud Hernandez, correspondent of a Spanish newspaper El Mundo said, “Thank you to everyone who prayed for me,” on Friday in her first interview upon being freed.
The guerrilla group identify themselves as ELN or National Liberation Army. They delivered Hernandez to a Catholic priest in the town of Torrán. Hernandez confirmed that the other two journalist’s are with them and after 2 hours Correspondent Diego D’Pablos and cameraman Carlos Melo, who work for the RCN Colombian TV network, were also released.
ELN is the second largest rebel group just after Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. The ELN has an estimated 1,200 fighters. It is said that Catatumbo area is filled with ELN people and illegal crops are means of earning in that area. Catatumbo is also home for drung selling.
Both ELN and FARC are currently negotiating with government over a peace agreement mediated by Cuba.
Farc’s leader Rodrigo Londoño, better known as Timochenko, on Friday in an unusual tweet criticised ELN for kidnapping Salud .” Today it’s Salud Hernández, tomorrow it could be any Colombian. Those practices must end for ever in Colombia. Peace demands her freedom.”
Columbian president Juan Manuel Santos has said that peace talks will not begin until ELN releases all the hostages. But the group has not agreed to this and their leader Nicolás Bautista, known as Gabino said “We are not willing to accept impositions,” in an interview which aired before the journalist was kidnapped.
-by Bhaskar Raghavendran
Bhaskar is a graduate in Journalism and mass communication and a reporter at NewsGram. Twitter handle: bhaskar_ragha