The director of the Colombian Police confirmed Tuesday the murders of two officers in the southwestern part of the country and attributed the deed to leftist FARC guerrillas.
After Maj. German Mendez Pabon and Pvt. Edilmer Muñoz Ortiz were reported missing last weekend authorities launched a search that ended Tuesday morning with the discovery of the two bodies in Tumaco, a municipality in Nariño province, Gen. Rodolfo Palomino told a press conference.
“We think, and everything indicates, that these murders are attributable to the members of the FARC’s Daniel Aldana Mobile Column,” he said, offering a reward of 100 million pesos ($49,000) in exchange for information on certain members of that rebel unit.
The bodies bore bullet wounds and also “seem to have had their hands tied and were bound to a tree where they were riddled with (bullets) and received contused-incised wounds,” the police chief said.
Mendez, 33, was a member of the Carabineros and Rural Security Directorate along with the 27-year-old Muñoz.
Both men were working on a plan to consolidate the presence of the state in remote and vulnerable parts of the country to “reconstruct the social fabric,” above all in indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities.
The killings came just before the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, are slated to resume peace talks in Havana, although the standard procedure is to isolate what happens on Colombian territory from what is discussed at the talks.
On Feb. 14, two other police officers’ bodies were found after they were killed execution-style in a border region between Cauca and Nariño provinces, and their murders were also blamed on the FARC.