Colombian rebels free hostage after 11 months in captivity

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Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) rebel group released on Thursday a petroleum engineer abducted 11 months ago, the national ombud’s office said.

“A commission from the Ombud’s Office and the Church received Rafael Andres Riaño Ravelo, an executive of the oil company Ismocol,” the office said on Twitter.

Guerrillas kidnapped the engineer on Jan. 13 from the Ismocol offices in Saravena, a town in Arauca province, bordering Venezuela.


His release took place in a rural area of Arauca, the Ombud’s Office said.

In April, ELN unit commander Gustavo Anibal Giraldo claimed responsibility for the abductions of Riaño Ravelo and another engineer, Jose Leonardo Ataya, who was freed last month.

The ELN initiated last Sunday a unilateral Christmas cease-fire, but the government of President Ivan Duque renewed its demand that the insurgent group desist from all illegal activities as a condition for the resumption of peace talks.

Negotiations have been on hold since Aug. 1, the conclusion of the sixth round of discussions in Havana between the ELN and the administration of then-President Juan Manuel Santos.