Thursday

30th Mar 2017

Commission man goes missing in Colombia

A European Commission official responsible for development projects at the EU's Colombia and Ecuador mission has been missing for the past ten days.

The EU's Bogota-based office lost contact with Carlos Ayala-Saavedra around April 17, while he was travelling through the Colombian countryside near Cucuta on the Colombian-Venezuelan border.

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The country's second largest rebel-group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), which funds itself through kidnapping, has been active in the region in recent years.

But Mr Ayala-Saavedra's fate remains unknown for the time being.

The 55-year old is a married father of four from Spain and has worked with the European Commission for 15 years.

The Commission's Bogota office is currently working with the Colombian and Spanish authorities to get to the bottom of the case.

"This is the first time we have had to deal with such a situation," European Commission spokeswoman, Francois Le Bail, said.

She indicated that the EU does not usually hire bodyguards for foreign delegation staff and declined to comment if EU oficials have had any contact with Colombian paramilitary organisations in the past.

MEPs call for reset in relations with Belarus

A group of 72 euro-deputies have written to EU leaders, asking them to stop funding Europe's last dictatorship and increase their support for democracy activists instead.

Interview

Let's not lecture Trump, says top German MP

Europeans need to propose "projects of common interest" to the US president to preserve "Western unity" on Russia, Norbert Roettgen, the chair of Bundestag's foreign affairs committee said.

Interview

Let's not lecture Trump, says top German MP

Europeans need to propose "projects of common interest" to the US president to preserve "Western unity" on Russia, Norbert Roettgen, the chair of Bundestag's foreign affairs committee said.

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