Malaga forestry engineer kidnapped in Colombia is freed

Quintana is highly distinguished in his field.
Quintana is highly distinguished in his field. / EFE
  • Jesús Quintana was held by an unidentified armed group at an illegal roadblock in the Cauca region last Saturday

Jesús Quintana García, the Malaga-based forestry engineer kidnapped by a "criminal group" in Colombia has been released, the local authorities have confirmed.

Quintana was released on Monday two days after being kidnapped by an unidentified armed group at an illegal roadblock in south-western Colombia while on a personal trip on Saturday and travelling by road in the Cauca region. Quintana had arrived in Colombia at the end of March to start a new phase in his already distinguished career, taking over as the managing director for the Americas at the Alliance of Bioversity International (CIAT), an organisation which aims "to help developing countries make farming more competitive, profitable, and resilient".

The news of his release was confirmed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Arancha González Laya, who tweeted: "I have just spoken with Jesús Antonio Quintana García, the Spaniard who was illegally held by an armed group in Colombia and who has been released thanks to the joint work of the Colombian and Spanish authorities."

His release came as a result of a joint effort between the Specialised Crime and Violence Unit (UDEV) of the National Police and the Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Extortion Directorate of the Colombian Police.

Details of his release have not been shared by the authorities nor his family who live in the El Palo neighbourhood of Malaga city. However, kidnappings in this part of Colombia, especially of foreign nationals is quite common.

"We can't tell you how happy we are," said family spokesperson Mercedes Pirez. "It's like we've won the lottery."