By Richard McColl
BOGOTA, Colombia (AA) – A Spanish journalist was released Friday after being held captive for six days by the ELN guerrilla group.
Salud Hernandez-Mora was handed over to representatives of the Catholic church who helped broker the release in-between the towns of Teorama and San Calixto in the northeastern department of Norte de Santander.
“From the very first moment I was being held against my will,” she told reporters. “I am not going to say how the kidnapping took place, I will tell all my colleagues the same thing because I have been on the other side and it causes a lot of rage,” she said.
A reporter for El Tiempo newspaper in Colombia and for El Pais in her native Spain, Hernandez was in the notorious stronghold region of Colombia’s second guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), working on an article about coca growing in this area. She was taken hostage May 21 near the town of El Tarra.
“I know that there are two journalists from RCN, Diego de D'Pablos and Carlos Melo, who remain in the custody of the ELN, but they will be freed on Saturday,” said Hernandez. “I was not with them. I think that they as well, with a bit of patience will be released soon.”
The ELN has approximately 2,000 combatants and have completed exploratory talks with the government regarding peace talks but a date has yet to be set for formal negotiations.