French journalist Roméo Langlois appears to have been abducted by the Colombian rebel group, Farc.
Langlois, a correspondent for France 24 TV and Le Figaro, went missing during a clash between Farc guerrillas and Colombian government forces on 28 April.
He was making a documentary on drug trafficking and had been accompanying the soldiers who were on a mission to destroy Farc cocaine farms.
Yesterday, a woman claiming to represent Farc made an anonymous phone call to Colombian journalists to say that the group had taken Langlois hostage.
She said he had been dressed in military garb and had been taken as a “prisoner of war”. She added that Langlois was wounded in the arm but had received medical attention and was “out of danger.”
Her statement appears to contradict a Farc announcement in February in which it said it was ending its policy of kidnappings. So there is a possibility that the claim is false.
Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos Calderón has demanded that Farc upholds its promise not to kidnap civilians.
He declared: “Colombia and the whole world are waiting for Farc to make good on their word.”
Media reports indicate that Langlois, though wearing a bullet-proof vest and helmet, was not carrying any weapons. But accounts conflict as to whether he was wearing military uniform.
Barbara Trionfi, the press freedom manager for the International Press Institute, said: “A great deal about Mr Langlois’s disappearance remains unknown at this time.
“If, however, Farc is indeed holding him hostage, it needs to release him immediately and unconditionally…
“As numerous international agreements have stated, journalists covering a conflict are civilians and are to be respected and protected as such.”
Langlois, 35, first went to Colombia 12 years ago to cover a peace agreement with between its former president and Farc.
France 24 has sent two journalists to Colombia to investigate Langlois’s disappearance.