Swede’s partner flees Colombian kidnapper

A Colombian woman who was kidnapped along with her Swedish partner has escaped from her captors.

Diana Pena, 36, was being held in the mountainous Tierralta region, 700 kilometres north of Bogotá. She managed to flee during a gun battle between the kidnappers and police on Saturday evening.

Commander Carlos Leiva of Colombian police told a press conference on Sunday that the woman “fled her captors and hid in a house.” He said she was OK, given the circumstances, but concerns were growing for the welfare of her 68-year-old Swedish partner, Erin Ronald Larson.

Authorities have offered a reward of $25,000 for information leading to the Swede being found. Ransom money is a major factor in Colombian kidnappings, and accounts for a large proportion of the incomes of guerilla groups Farc and ELN.

Swedish authorities are following the case, but are revealing few details. Håkan Nilsson of the Swedish National Criminal Investigation Department said on Sunday night that Colombian police had informed their Swedish counterparts that Ms Pena was free, but said that there was no new information about Mr Larson.