Bogota, Colombia – Leftist rebel gunmen kidnapped six tourists from a Pacific island, Colombia’s navy said Monday, adding to the more than 700 hostages it still holds for ransom or political leverage.
The six Colombians taken — including two university professors and a biologist — were among 19 people accosted by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia Sunday afternoon, the navy said.
“Apparently, 10 uniformed bandits from the FARC, in addition to robbing these people of everything they had, kidnapped six of the 19 people who were on the boat,” Adm. Guillermo Barrera, the navy’s commander, told The Associated Press.
A navy statement said the tourists were seized from the beach of Moromico island, off Colombia’s coast.
Three days earlier, the FARC freed two female hostages after six years in captivity, increasing international pressure on Colombia’s government to accede to a swap of 44 high-profile hostages, including three American military contractors and former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, for hundreds of its jailed fighters, including two in U.S. jails.