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  • The kidnap and murder in Colombia of three staff from Ecuador

    The kidnap and murder in Colombia of three staff from Ecuador's El Comercio newspaper prompted huge protests. | Photo: EFE

Published 23 June 2018

The National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences said dental charts weren't enough to fully identify the remains and DNA tests must be carried out.

Efforts to formally identify bodies believed to be those of the three El Comercio newspaper staff murdered by a Colombian armed group in April are continuing after Ecuador accused Colombia of releasing unverified information.

RELATED: 
Colombia Identifies Bodies Of Murdered El Comercio Staff

On Friday, Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs Maria Angela Holguin told reporters she had contacted the chancellor of Ecuador, where El Comercio is based, to confirm the bodies had been found.

But on Saturday, Colombia's National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences said dental charts weren't enough to fully identify the remains and DNA tests must now be carried out.

"It is reported that after the necropsy, the dental chart is totally insufficient to grant the full identity of the corpses found in rural area of Tumaco," the institute said on its Twitter account.

 

Jairo Silva, director of Legal Medicine in the city of Cali, said: "There is no reliable, complete and scientifically identifiable identification of the bodies. The confirmation of the identity will be obtained only after the genetic tests."

Ecuador has written to Colombia's Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin, criticizing officials for "advancing forensic information without full scientific verification" and calling for those responsible to be sanctioned.

Relatives of El Comercio journalist Javier Ortega, photographer Paul Rivas and driver Efrain Segarra have asked the governments of Ecuador and Colombia to better coordinate their efforts.

"We demand that both countries show coordination," they said in a statement. "It's unheard of that Twitter is the communication channel of two governments in such a delicate matter. Paul, Javier and Efrain deserve better than a tweet."


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