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Journalists in Ecuador at a vigil for their murdered colleagues Journalists in Ecuador at a vigil for their murdered colleagues  (AFP or licensors)

Journalists murdered in Ecuador; Pope expresses sorrow

Pope Francis expresses closeness to families of journalists murdered in Ecuador

By Christopher Wells

Pope Francis on Sunday expressed his sorrow on having received news of the murder of three journalists by a rogue faction of the now disbanded Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (known as FARC).

“I pray for them, and their families,” the Pope said, “and I am close to the dear Ecuadorian people, encouraging them to go forward, united and peaceful, with the help of the Lord and of His Most Holy Mother.”

Ecuador’s president, meanwhile, has vowed to find, capture, and punish the killers.

Listen to James Blears' report

Following the confirmation of the murders of reporter Javier Ortega, photographer Paul Rivas and driver Efrain Segarra, kidnapped on March 26th, by gunmen belonging to the Oliver Sinisterra group, Ecuador`s President Lenin Moreno cancelled his trip, to the Summit of the Americas in Peru, vowing immediate action in coordination with Colombian Armed Forces, pledging to fight the terrorists in what he terms: "The realm they choose." He also said: "I will keep my word, as I always do.  I will use a strong hand against the criminals. I feel the pain of the relatives." Part of that promise, he said, is offering a reward equivalent to one hundred thousand dollars, for the capture of its leader, known as El Gaucho.

Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Argentina have already sent messages of sympathy and support.

15 April 2018, 16:52