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Kidnap & Ransom Update – May 16, 2019


1. (COLOMBIA, 14/05/19) Kidnapped ranchers found dead after two months

Colombian authorities confirmed the killing of brothers Dairo y Wilmar Rivera Rodríguez, two ranchers who had been missing for about two months. The brothers were kidnapped on 14 March by four armed men who invaded their ranch in the municipality of San Cayetano, Bolivar department. According to reports, the kidnappers had demanded a ransom of COP 350 million (approximately USD 106,000). Their bodies were found on 14 May, inside a pit in the same municipality. Five people, including a neighbor of the victims, have been arrested for their presumed participation in the kidnapping and killing of the ranchers. The authorities believe that the victims were killed in the hours following to their kidnapping, with the kidnappers nonetheless pursuing negotiations with the victims’ relatives afterwards. FULL ARTICLE (1)


2. (SYRIA, 14/05/19) New video of South African journalist surfaces online

A new video of kidnapped South African photojournalist Shiraaz Mohamed surfaced on YouTube. This is the second video released, allegedly by his captors, since his kidnapping in January 2017. Meanwhile, South African NGO Gift of the Givers, employer of the journalist at the time of abduction, said they are investigating the origin of the video, although they believe it is a modified version of the first video, which was sent in April. According to Gift of the Givers, Mohamed’s kidnappers are demanding a ransom of USD 1.5 million for the journalist’s release. FULL ARTICLE (1)


3. (SOMALIA, 15/05/19) Aid workers kidnapped by Al Shabaab in southwestern Somalia

Two Somali nationals working for Christian NGOs World Vision and Trocaire were abducted close to the border with Kenya. The incident took place on 14 May, in the vicinity of the town of Geedweyne, Gedo region, where they were carrying out humanitarian work. While no group has claimed the event, it is suspected they were kidnapped by Al Shabaab gunmen. Negotiations between local clan elders and the kidnappers are said to be underway. According to local sources, it is believed the hostages are being held in a location near Dollow town. FULL ARTICLE (1)

4. (KENYA, 15/05/19) Abductors issue ransom demand for kidnapped Cuban doctors

According to Mandera local elders negotiating with the kidnappers of Cuban doctors Landy Rodríguez and Assel Herrera, a ransom of KES 150 million (approximately USD 1.5 million) has been demanded for their release. The elders have also said that the hostages are currently being held in a remote area between the towns of de Buale and El-Ade, in the Jubaland region of Somalia. While no group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of the Cubans, it is believed they are being held by Al Shabaab. According to local sources, it is likely that the victims were originally abducted by a local gang, who later handed them over to Al Shabaab. FULL ARTICLE (1)


6. (PAKISTAN, 15/05/19) Pakistani authorities classify disappearance of German national as kidnapping

Islamabad Police have registered a kidnapping case over the disappearance of a German national. The 18-year-old girl, who was living with her uncle in Islamabad, disappeared on the night of 12 May. According to the uncle’s report, he found his niece missing from the house when he returned from his evening prayer. He said believing that unidentified people had kidnapped her. Some notes were found in her room after her disappearance, stating that she had gone on her own volition and did not want to be looked for. The authorities are trying to authenticate the notes. Some of her belongings, including her passport were also missing. German authorities have reportedly been contacted over the incident. FULL ARTICLE