Cesar Navas, Ecuador's Interior Minister, has met with the families of the three members of El Comercio’s news team, a journalist, a photographer and a driver who were kidnapped Monday.
The three media workers were abducted in the northern border town of El Mataje, in the province of Esmeraldas while doing a news coverage on the attacks that have been carried out against Ecuadorean state security forces.
Before entering the meeting, Navas said in an interview with local news organizations, that the Ecuadorean government was “currently in a process of negotiation, demands, and more” to secure the safe return of the three people kidnapped.
According to the commander of Colombia’s Armed Forces, the three news workers were abducted by a dissident group of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), but other sources have not yet confirmed the claim.
After the meeting between family members and state officials in charge of the case, including officials from the interior and defense ministers, a spokesperson for the family members said: “We have received news that calms... the families that have lived painful moments in the last hours. We are calm, we are strong, and we are confident they will return safely home soon.”
In his earlier statements, before entering the meeting, Navas also condemned a Colombian media outlet, which published unconfirmed information on the team’s freedom, saying it was “irresponsible, to say the least, with the expectations that are generated.” Navas insisted news outlets and people interested in the case should “go to official sources” for information.
In Quito, Ecuador’s capital, journalists, and media workers have held two vigils in solidarity and to demand prompt state action.