Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA

Colombia: Swiss hostage is free

A Swiss citizen, who had been in the hands of Colombian hostage-takers for almost three months, has been freed on Thursday 18 June 2020. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) has taken note of this news with relief and thanks the Colombian authorities, in particular the Colombian armed forces, for their support.

19.06.2020
 Two men with small dogs on their arms stand in front of a microphone at a military airfield and give a press conference. On the right is a Colombian soldier.

The two men show their relief at a press conference in Colombia shortly after their liberation. © KEYSTONE

The FDFA confirms that a Swiss and a Brazilian citizen were liberated on Thursday, 18 June 2020, by the Colombian army. The two men were abducted on 20 March 2020 and held hostage in Colombia for almost three months. Since that time, the FDFA, together with various departments of the Federal Administration (including the Federal Office of Police, fedpol) and the Canton of Zurich (Cantonal Police ZH), has worked intensively for the release of the hostages. The authorities involved have been in contact with the family members and have assisted and supported them during this time. The Swiss representation in Bogotá also maintains close contact with the local authorities.  

The FDFA would like to thank the Colombian authorities for their good cooperation and the Colombian armed forces for their successful efforts in this rescue operation. Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis praised the local authorities on Twitter shortly after the successful liberation was announced. "I am relieved and grateful for the efforts of the Colombian authorities who made this liberation possible," stressed the head of the FDFA.

The context of the abduction is currently under investigation. Considering the circumstances, both men are in good health. For reasons of data and personality protection, no further details can be provided.

 

Follow travel instructions  

The FDFA urgently recommends consulting the Department's travel advice before travelling abroad. They provide information on the security situation in selected countries and should be studied before and during travel to affected regions. At present, the Department's travel advice is published for 176 countries and is constantly updated.

Travellers decide on their own responsibility when preparing and carrying out a trip.

The travel advice can be found on the FDFA website: Travel advice explained in brief

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