16:10 GMT +320 September 2018
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    Ecuador's President Confirms Death of Kidnapped Journalists

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    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno on Friday confirmed death of two journalists and their driver, who were kidnapped by insurgents near the country's border with Colombia in March.

    In late March, two journalists of Ecuadorian El Comercio newspaper and their driver were reported missing in Ecuador’s region of Mataje near the Colombian border. On Wednesday, the Oliver Sinisterra Front, a faction of the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas, which is active in Ecuador, stated that the hostages had been killed during an army’s operation in the area.

    "We have information that confirms murder of our compatriots. We stay in touch with international organizations to coordinate the return of the bodies," Moreno stated at a press conference in Ecuador's capital, Quito.

    Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa told Sputnik that the authorities would respond harshly to the killing of the hostages.

    "We will act with all our determination appropriate in this case. We are devastated because it’s a loss of our three compatriots, who are fathers, sons and professionals in their field," she stated.

    The region has long been suffering from Colombian rebel groups activities. In 2016, the government of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos hammered out a peace deal with FARC, which transformed into a political party in the following year. Around 1,200 former FARC insurgents are believed to have joined drug-trafficking factions, including the Oliver Sinisterra Front.

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    Tags:
    kidnapping, death, journalists, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Lenin Moreno, Colombia, Ecuador
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