A hostage was executed by a vicious criminal gang just moments after they realised police were about to swoop the scene.
Juan Pablo Castillo Esper, 50, was being kept hostage in the “Pica Pica area” in northern Colombia, between the states of North Santander and Cesar.
According to local reports, a special operations unit against kidnapping and extortion were carrying out a search when they came close to the scene.
They found gang members and the hostage.
According to police sources, the officers were suddenly ambushed from different directions by gang members who had been alerted to their close presence.
A police statement read: “The attempt against the police was carried out by a criminal gang who had kidnapped farmer Juan Pablo Castillo Esper on the night of the 28th February on his farm when seven armed men intercepted him and took him to an unknown place.
“During the confrontation, the delinquents made the cowardly decision to end the life of the 50-year-old farmer, who, from what we have been able to verify, had been kept in the custody of various heavily armed subjects in deplorable conditions.
“In the procedure, four members of the criminal group, who were in charge of keeping the kidnapped man, were captured.”
In a follow-up operation, police confirm that they were able to capture another five gang members responsible for the kidnapping, who had escaped during the confrontation.
Authorities report that those arrested will now have to respond to charges for the kidnapping and killing of Castillo Esper.
The police department expressed condolences to the family of the victim who they said: “lost his life because of these cowardly murderers.”