Bogotá, Colombia, Oct 15, 2003 / 22:00 pm
Bishop Ugo Puccini of the Diocese of Santa Marta in Columbia and one of a three-member commission created at the request of the National Liberation Army (ELN) to negotiate the release of seven tourists kidnapped in the Nevada Mountains, expressed dismay at the lack of response from guerrilla forces to enter into negotiations.
Bishop Puccini and the other members of the commission, who have been in Santa Marta two days, said, “Right now we can’t do anything else except wait for a response.”
“We have had no contact with them. We are in Santa Marta waiting to go to wherever they tell us in the Nevada Mountains and immediately begin negotiations,” the Bishop explained.
He also lamented that they know nothing “of the people who are supposed to be our intermediaries.” “Today I met with the rest of the commission and we will try to use all of our external contacts to find out why these people have not gotten in touch with us,” he added.