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Ecuador's Moreno returns home after report says abducted journalists dead

AFP  |  Quito 

Ecuador's has announced he would return home from the Summit of in to address a "critical situation" related to a team of abducted reporters following reports they had been killed.

"I have decided to return immediately to because of the critical situation we are experiencing right now," the Moreno said on yesterday, the same day he had arrived in Peruvian capital for the summit.

Moreno added he would be accompanied by relatives of the team, who had also travelled to to pressure him and his Colombian counterpart to secure the journalists' release.

Javier Ortega, 32, Paul Rivas, 45, and their Efrain Segarra, 60, were kidnapped by rogue Colombian FARC guerrillas on March 26 at the Ecuador-border.

On April 3, Colombia's RCN television aired a 23-second video showing the trio wearing chains with locks around their necks, the first proof of life. One of the hostages asked Moreno to reach an agreement for their release.

Moreno in turn announced his government "will do everything possible and impossible so that they return safe and sound," according to a

Moreno decided to return urgently to after a Colombian television channel announced it had received photographs that may be the three journalists. The journalists were on assignment in the border area where Ecuadoran security forces have come under a series of deadly attacks blamed on rogue FARC elements involved in drug trafficking.

A 2016 pact between the and the FARC ended half a century of armed conflict, saw 7,000 rebels disarmed and the ex-rebels transform into a political party.

However, some 1,100 guerrillas broke away from the agreement, primarily to pursue drug trafficking and illegal mining, according to the and independent research centres.

The FARC has long been active in the remote Ecuador-border region.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 13 2018. 09:15 IST