Mysteries persist after journalists murdered

Months after the abduction and murder of an Ecuadorean journalist team, questions remain unanswered. 

Javier Ortega, Paúl Rivas and Efraín Segarra of the Comercio daily newspaper went missing on March 26, 2018, while on assignment along the Mataje River that divides Ecuador and Colombia.

The team had gone there to cover a Colombian narco-guerrilla group involved in high-profile acts of violence that have shocked normally calm Ecuador.

With days of their disappearance, the journalists were reportedly freed, but, following a torrent of conflicting accusations, the governments of Ecuador and Colombia walked back their claims.

In early April the Oliver Sinisterra Front — comprised of fighters from the officially disbanded FARC guerrilla group — announced that it had murdered the journalists after negotiations with Ecuador for the release of their own men failed.

The journalists’ bodies were found not long thereafter.

Now the Forbidden Stories project, as it has done elsewhere, is trying to shine a light on exactly what happened to the journalists, the nature of any government fault, and why documents detailing the ransom demands and other elements of the case were classified at the highest levels.

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