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  • "We gave our word that the kidnapping of the Ecuadorean journalists would not go unpunished," said prosecutor Nestor Humberto Martinez.

    "We gave our word that the kidnapping of the Ecuadorean journalists would not go unpunished," said prosecutor Nestor Humberto Martinez. | Photo: RCN Radio

Published 7 July 2018

Jesus Vargas Cuajiboy, alias 'Reinel,' is believed to be an accompice in the kidnap and murder of three El Comercio newspaper staff from Ecuador.

Colombian authorities have arrested one of the men suspected of kidnapping three staff from Ecuador's El Comercio newspaper who were later murdered.

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The suspect goes by the alias 'Reinel' and was captured in Cauca, in Santander de Quilichao. He is believed to be fourth in command with the Oliver Sinisterra Front, an armed group operating along the border and led by 'El Guacho.'

Posting on Twitter, Colombia's Public Ministry said they had arrested 'Reinel,' real name Jesus Vargas Cuajiboy, and reiterated their vow that the killers would be brought to justice.

"We gave our word that the kidnapping of the Ecuadorean journalists would not go unpunished," said prosecutor Nestor Humberto Martinez, confirming he had also obtained an arrest warrant for 'El Guacho,' real name Walter Patricio Arizala Vernaza. 

In March, the armed group kidnapped journalist Paul Rivas, photographer Javier Ortega and driver Efrain Segarra while they were investigating the outbreak of violence along the border.

The group later executed the men after the Ecuadorean government failed to meet their demands, including the release of several of its members from prison.

The bodies of a young Ecuadorean couple also kidnapped and killed by the Oliver Sinisterra Front at about the same time – Oscar Villacis, 24, and recent university graduate Katty Velasco, 20 – were finally returned to Ecuador for burial on July 6.

Several Oliver Sinisterra Front militants have been killed or arrested, but 'El Guacho' remains at large.

 


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