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Published: Fri, June 23, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Dutch Journalists Kidnapped By Colombian Rebels

Dutch Journalists Kidnapped By Colombian Rebels

"This morning, reporter Derk Johannes Bolt, 62, and his cameraman Eugenio Ernest Marie Follender, 58, both Dutch nationals, were stopped" in El Tarra, Norte de Santander, by presumed ELN rebels, police said in a statement. The show attempts to help people find their long lost blood relatives.

Two Dutch journalists - one of them the presenter of a high-profile TV programme - have gone missing in Colombia, believed by the authorities there to have been kidnapped by left-wing ELN guerillas, now involved in peace talks with the government.

Colombia's National Liberation Army, or ELN, rebel group, is accused of taking hostage two Dutch journalists on Saturday, though the militant organization said it is not clear if its members carried out the abduction.

Police specialists in kidnapping and extortion headed to the region to try to secure the release of the two men. "All sides in the Colombian conflict must respect the internationally recognized status of journalists as civilians".

A member of a Colombian humanitarian mission which has flown to the area where the two disappeared told Dutch media earlier that they could be released as early as today.

The Netherlands Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Daphne Kerremans said "the case has our highest priority" while the Colombian Army has launched a major land, sea and air search operation.

A message about the disappearance of the journalists was posted on the Dutch programme's Facebook page on Tuesday announcing that the show will not be discussing the case until the two are freed.

He said he went to a doctor and was diagnosed with having an allergic reaction to a tick bite.

"My skin is as soft as a peach again, but as I write it over, I get itching again", he wrote.

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