Friday

30th Sep 2016

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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

Opinion

The EU’s new offer to Africa

The European Commission’s plan for a multi-billion African investment vehicle is mainly another incentive for African leaders to give higher priority to border management.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceWhy the Investment Plan for Europe Does not Drive the Sustainable Energy Transition
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region Seeks to Make Its Voice Heard in the World
  3. Taipei EU OfficeCountries Voice Support for Taiwan's Participation in ICAO
  4. World VisionNew Tool Measuring Government Efforts to Protect Children Released
  5. GoogleDid You Know Europe's Largest Dinosaur Gallery Is in Brussels? Check It Out Now
  6. IPHRHuman Rights in Uzbekistan After Karimov - Joint Statement
  7. CISPECloud Infrastructure Providers Unveil Data Protection Code of Conduct
  8. EFAMessages of Hope From the Basque Country and Galicia
  9. Access NowDigital Rights Heroes and Villains. See Who Protects Your Rights, Who Wants to Take Them Away
  10. EJCAppalled by Recommendation to Remove Hamas From EU Terrorism Watch List
  11. GoogleBringing Education to Refugees in Lebanon With the Clooney Foundation for Justice
  12. Belgrade Security ForumCan Democracy Survive Global Disorder?