Kidnap prompts Ecuador travel warning in wake of Kathryn Cox abduction

by Emily DUNBAR on October 2, 2012

British tourists in Ecuador are being warned about possible dangers that are involved with travel near to the border shared with Colombia, in the wake of the recent kidnapping of Kathryn Cox - a 29-year-old student that was abducted at a remote nature reserve in the South American country.

Ms Cox was kidnapped along with a 32-year-old Australian on Friday during the organised canoe trip they embarked upon in the iconic Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, which is located in north east Ecuador. Thankfully, the pair were brought to safety by security forces 24 hours after being abducted.

After the incident, the Foreign Office updated its advice for any Britons visiting Ecuador and has urged travellers to make sure that they take particular care in any areas bordering Colombia. This is because guerrilla groups, criminal gangs and drug traffickers are operating in the area – bringing a heightened risk of both kidnapping and crime.

Foreigners, such as oil workers, are always potential targets and have been warned that all travel to towns and cities around Carchi province should be avoided.  The Cuyabeno reserve, located in the Sucumbios province, has become famous for its great areas of biodiversity and contains 12,000 different plant species, which includes 60 types of orchid. It also hosts around 550 species of birds and 350 different types of fish, armadillos, anacondas, alligators and river turtles.

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