3 Kidnapped Journalists Are Killed

They were investigating drug-fueled violence along Ecuador-Colombia border
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 13, 2018 1:50 PM CDT
A relative of journalist Javier Ortega, one of the slain journalists, holds his picture after a Mass in honor of the group in Quito, Ecuador, Thursday, April 5, 2018.   (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
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(Newser) – Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno has confirmed the deaths of three press workers kidnapped along the country's conflictive border with Colombia. Moreno spoke Friday after a 12-hour deadline ended with the captors failing to meet his demands that they demonstrate the hostages were still alive or face a military strike, per the AP. He said the government has obtained new information that confirmed the journalists were killed. On Thursday, a Colombian TV network said it obtained gruesome photos purporting to show the bodies of the three men.

The three employees of Ecuador's El Comercio newspaper were taken hostage three weeks ago by a holdout faction of the demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia while investigating a rise in drug-fueled violence along Ecuador's northern border. Moreno said that the time for restraint was over and that he won't allow Ecuador to become a haven for transnational drug gangs.

(Read more Ecuador stories.)

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