Whistleblower Captain Anyelo Palacio of Colombia’s National Police department has been safely returned to his family, following a whirlwind kidnap.
Palacio disappeared on Sunday evening by four armed men, while driving through the country’s Notre de Santander department with his 76-year-old stepfather Arcilio Ortiz, daily El Espectador reports.
The Captain, who claims he was drugged and then subsequently raped by a senior force member while acting as the security chief for Colombian Congress, remains the main witness behind the alleged prostitution of hundreds of junior police cadets.
Palacio appears in a video showing him having an explicit conversation with ex-senator and ex-viceminister of the interior Carlos Ferro. The video, the Captain states, is incriminating evidence of the so-termed ‘Fellowship of the Ring’.
Lost and found
But just hours into his ordeal, Palacio was then found by a middle-aged woman living in the isolated Ragonvilia municipality, around a mile from the Venezuelan border. Incredibly disorientated, bruised and battered, the woman was then able to contact the Captain’s family.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, Palacio’s mother received a phone call informing her that her son was alive, but severely beaten and suffering from hypothermia, according to radio station La FM.
“It seems they have found my boy … he’s been beaten, in a bad state, they told me,” mother Flor Alba Montero told the radio station.
“The investigative work carried out by the police will continue to determine those involved in this act and the vehicles used. We currently have developed no concrete hypothesis,” director of Colombia’s National Police, General Jorge Nieto Rojas commented.
Palacio’s sister, Raiza, has also spoken up, commenting that the authorities “never provided him” with the protection and support that the Captain had previously been promised.
“We don’t know who took him. I would like to state that my brother never was offered protection,”
The official also received death threats via telephone, according to El Tiempo.
Yet now back in the media spotlight, Palacio has gained a different type of attention. The officer is also have believed to have faked his own kidnapping, in an attempt to up protection of his family and urge authorities to investigate further into prostitution links.
The kidnapping could also act as a form of retaliation for Palacio publicly pinpointing high profile personalities as suspects and accessories to the criminal ring.