Abducted Ecuadoran journalists seek Quito’s help in video

Relatives and colleagues of the abducted journalists and a driver at a vigil
AFP

Bogota (AFP) – An Ecuadoran press team abducted a week ago on the border with Colombia appeared in a video on TV Tuesday and asked Quito to help secure their release.

The footage on RCN television marked the first proof that team from the influential Ecuadoran newpaper El Comercio is alive after being kidnapped by rogue elements of the Colombian rebel army FARC.

The 23 second video shows reporter Javier Ortega, 32, photographer Paul Rivas, 45, and their driver Efrain Segarra, 60, wearing chains with locks at the neck.

One of the hostages asks Ecuadoran President Lenin Moreno to reach an agreement for their release.

In the video, the unidentified captors seek an exchange in which the hostages would go home safe and sound and Ecuador would stop helping Colombia fight insurgents.

RCN did not say how it got the video or the day it was filmed or released.

Ecuador’s government said Thursday it was in negotiations to secure the team’s release.

Ortega and his colleagues were abducted while on a reporting mission in the border area, where authorities from both countries are pursuing rebel fighters who have not embraced the peace process undertaken by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

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