World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Spanish photographer missing

Spanish photographer missing in dangerous northeastern department

Published On Wednesday 29 January 2014

Reporters Without Borders urges the authorities, and in particular the GAULA elite units that combat abduction and extortion, to deploy whatever resources are needed to locate Borja Lázaro, a Spanish freelance photographer who disappeared in northeastern Colombia, near the Venezuelan border, three weeks ago.

Lázaro, 34, who is from Vitoria in Spain’s Basque country, was doing a series of photo-reportages on indigenous cultures. He went missing in Cabo de la Vela, a fishing village in the department of La Guajira, on 8 January. He last communicated with his family eight days before that.

“Without taking a position on the theories offered by Colombian and Spanish investigators, we think the possibility of abduction should be taken very seriously,” Reporters Without Borders said.

“La Guajira is a drug trafficking hub dominated by the feared ‘Bacrim,’ criminal gangs that had their origins in the paramilitary movement. These gangs operate with the support or complicity of certain local officials. La Guajira’s now jailed former governor Juan Francisco ‘Kiko’ Gómez was known for having close links with the Bacrim and for using them against troublesome journalists.

“A campaign in support of Lázaro is needed even if the circumstances of his disappearance have yet to be established. A Spanish couple were kidnapped by Bacrim in the same region in 2013 and were held for a month before being released. Whatever the circumstances, we hope Lázaro will soon reappear safe and sound.”

Lázaro’s disappearance was reported to the Colombian and Spanish authorities on 23 January. According to witnesses, he spent the evening of 7 January with a group of people and returned to his hotel at around 1 a.m. on 8 January. He was no longer in his room at 5 a.m. on 8 January.

A close relation of the photographer told Reporters Without Borders: “One of the theories is that he drowned in the sea after getting up early but I think it is unlikely. His mobile phone, backpack and flashlight were all missing. None of these items was found on the beach and it is hard to see how he could have left without them. Another theory is that he got lost in La Guajira’s nearby desert.”

A journalistic source told Reporters Without Borders she thought Lázaro was being held by a La Guajira-based Bacrim.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Peace Deal ‘first Step’ In Resolving South Sudan Crisis

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine More>>

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news