The FARC denies any involvement in kidnapping of journalist Mario Alfonso Puello



    MONTREAL, Feb. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - The Revolutionary Armed Forces of
Colombia (FARC) has denied responsibility for the kidnapping of journalist
Mario Alfonso Puello, who was abducted at a road block in La Guajira
department on 17 February. A man calling himself "Silfredo", who said he was
the spokesman for Front 59 of the FARC, phoned Caracol Radio in Riohacha,
northern Colombia on the morning of 27 February to deny the group's
involvement. Alfonso Puello, who works for TV Norte, Radio Delfin and regional
daily La Noticia, was with three other people when she was abducted, one of
whom, Aldo Brito Carillo, rector of the Open and Distance National University
(UNAD), managed to escape from the kidnappers.
    Secretary to the Guajira government, José Maria Ballesteros, quoted by
the Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP), said investigations had been made in
the area and it was evident that Brito Carillo was the target of the
kidnappers.The rector said that the kidnappers were wearing army uniform and
that their weapons were not like those generally used by the FARC or the other
guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army (ELN). The two armed groups,
along with the Black Eagles, a dreaded paramilitary unit which has been
intimidating local journalists, are fighting one another for control of
Guajira department, on the border with Venezuela. The reasons for the
abduction of Mario Alfonso Puello remain unclear and no ransom demand has so
far been sent to her family.




For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, secretary general,
Reporters Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4208, Fax: (514)
521-7771, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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