Dutch journalist, cameraman kidnapped in Colombia

Derk Bolt
Derk Bolt. Photo: Uitgeverij De Kring / Wikimedia Commons

Two Dutch journalists are being "held against their will" in Colombia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The two were abducted by left-wing movement ELN, the National Liberation Army, on Saturday, according to local newspaper El Tiempo.

According to the BBC, the two kidnapped Dutch are Derk Bolt and cameraman Eugenio Follender. The two were working for program Spoorloos in El Tarra, near the border with Venezuela, where they were kidnapped. The journalists were looking for the biological mother of a Dutch person who was adopted in Colombia. Spoorloos is a program about finding lost relatives.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could not confirm the identity of the victims, or where and by whom they were taken, to news wire ANP. She did say that the matter has the Ministry's full attention. In order not to influence developments, the Ministry will not say more. 

Bolt's employer KRO-NCRV could also not confirm that Bolt was kidnapped. The broadcaster is currently trying to establish whether Bolt is missing. 

The Marxist ELN is known to be active in the region the Dutch journalists visited. Last year the left-wing guerilla movement kidnapped a Spanish journalist, and then two Colombian journalists who went to the scene to report on the situation. All three were later released. 

BBC asked an ELN spokesperson about the kidnapped Dutch journalists and he responded: "There is nothing to say."

 

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