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Kidnapped New Zealander Update


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

2 February 2001

KIDNAPPED NEW ZEALANDER UPDATE


Foreign Minister Phil Goff says the New Zealand Government continues to keep in close touch with Ecuadorian authorities over the kidnapping of New Zealander Dennis Corrin, especially in the wake of the latest worrying development.

The body of one of the ten hostages seized in October last year at an oilfield in the El Coca region of Ecuador has been found. The deceased is an American citizen.

"I am concerned by this latest development. All of the countries whose nationals are being held as hostages are continuing to work with Ecuadorian Government and their employer, Erickson Air-Crane to try to ensure they are successful in the negotiation of a safe release of the kidnap victims.

"In these situations governments do not get involved in the negotiating. The employer of the kidnapped people and the employer's insurers are the negotiators.

"A New Zealand official will be going again to Quito to meet the relevant Ecuadorian authorities, British and American embassy officials and representatives of Erickson Air-Crane" said Mr Goff.

Ecuadorian authorities have in place a crisis committee and police and military authorities are coordinating efforts to resolve the situation.

"My thoughts are with the Corrin family during this difficult time and I appreciate the media's continuing respect for their request for privacy," Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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