Incident Summary:

04/11/2018: Assailants abducted Oscar Efren Villacis and Katty Vanesa Velasco, a married couple, along the Ecuador and Colombia border in Esmeraldas, Ecuador. The hostages were killed on July 3, 2018. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) dissidents claimed responsibility for the attack and demanded that people linked to the group be freed from prison in exchange for the hostages. Sources also suspected that the attack was in response to anti-drug-trafficking military operations in the area.




South America

region/u.s. state:


San Lorenzo

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Not Applicable
Specific Description Civilians: Vanessa Velasco Pinargote, Oscar Efren Villacis Gomez
Nationality of Target Ecuador
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 2
US Hostages 0
Days of Kidnapping 83
Outcome Hostage(s) killed (not during rescue attempt)
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Unknown Gun Type
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Group Sub-name Claimed Responsibility
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) dissidents Oliver Sinisterra Front Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Video)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 2 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 2
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Two bodies found buried in Colombia near Ecuadorian border," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, July 3, 2018.
"Ecuadorian couple kidnapped near Colombian border," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, April 17, 2018.
"Ecuador says two more kidnapped on Colombia border," The News International, April 18, 2018.