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Colombia: Kidnapped Bishop must be released immediately

Press reports claim that the guerrilla group, the Ejército the Liberación Nacional (ELN), National Liberation Army, was responsible for the kidnapping of Monsignor Misael Vacca Ramírez, as well as two other priests, who were later released.

Amnesty International said:

“The kidnapping of the Bishop is only the latest example of the disregard that the armed parties in Colombia’s conflict have for civilians. Kidnapping and hostage-taking are flagrant breaches of international humanitarian law.

“The use of human lives to further political objectives is completely unacceptable and we urge the armed groups to respect the right to life and physical integrity of those held in their power.”

Background Information

In 2003, around 2,200 people were kidnapped in Colombia, more than half by guerrilla groups and army-backed paramilitaries. Guerrilla groups, especially the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, accounted for most of these kidnappings.

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