Journalist’s Kidnappers Paid Ransom in Panama

June 15, 2007

PANAMA CITY – The kidnappers of Argentine photojournalist Fernando Calzada were paid a $6,000 ransom to release him, according to Panamanian Assistant Attorney General Luís Martínez.

Martínez told reporters this week that he could not comment further on Calzada’s kidnapping because it is still under investigation.

The 41-year-old photojournalist was abducted in Panama City June 8 and released less than 48 hours later by his kidnappers.

Calzada, who had been in the Panamanian capital for several days to cover a business meeting ahead of the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly, was the victim of an “express kidnapping” in the Panamanian capital, a source close to the journalist said.

“He was held hostage for several hours in what you might call an ‘express kidnapping’ (to steal what he had on him or his credit cards),” the source said, adding that “fortunately, everything ended well.”

Calzada was reported missing June 8 and police launched a search across Panama City to find him, Panamanian Foreign Minister Samuel Lewis Navarro said.

The Panamanian daily Critica said Calzada was working for Semana, a magazine published by Argentina’s Perfil newspaper.

 

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