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Colombia footballer Quintero wants answers to mystery of missing father

Bogota (AFP) – Colombian international footballer Juan Fernando Quintero on Monday demanded answers from the country’s new army chief over the fate of his father who went missing almost 25 years ago.

“I don’t want to take advantage of the new General of the Army (Enrique) Zapateiro…. taking office, but I hope to be able to start a dialogue very soon and find out what happened,” Quintero, who plays for Argentine club side River Plate, wrote on Twitter where he has 1.6 million followers.

“I have the right as a son to know what happened to my father because I have suffered and I have seen my family suffering from psychological problems,” added Quintero, who was only two when his father Jaime disappeared in 1995.

General Zapateiro, who was a captain in the unit in which Jaime Quintero served, was cleared of any wrongdoing by the courts in 2001.

However, relatives have continued to push for answers over the disappearance.

Jaime Quintero went missing in 1995 while carrying out his military service at an army base in Carepa, in the north-east of the country.

According to his family, Zapateiro ordered Jaime Quintero to travel to Medellin after an alleged altercation between the two men over bouts of indiscipline, but he never arrived at his destination.

“There is no proof of the responsibility of the captain commander… Eduardo Enrique Zapateiro Altamiranda, now the designated commander of the army, nor against any member of the national army,” said the army in a statement posted on its website.

In Colombia, 83,000 people disappeared in more than 50 years of civil war, according to the National Center for Historical Memory — nearly three times more than under dictatorships in Argentina, Brazil and Chile in the second part of the 20th century.

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