Kidnapped relative of writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez freed

In this handout photo released by the press office of Colombia's National Police, Melissa Martinez Garcia poses for a photo with the officers that rescued her, in a rural area of Ciengaga, northern Colombia, Monday, Dec. 17, 2018. Martinez Garcia, grand niece of the late Literature Nobel Price winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez, was kidnapped on Aug. 23, 2018 when she was returning to her home in Santa Marta, from her job on a banana plantation. (Colombia's National Police Press Office via AP)

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — A relative of the late Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez has been freed after being kidnapped and held for ransom for over three months.

President Ivan Duque announced Monday the military rescued Melissa Martinez Garcia in a special operation in which about a dozen people were detained.

The great niece of the famed writer was kidnapped in August while returning home to Santa Marta from her job overseeing work on a banana farm.

Duque described her captors as “common delinquents” whose leaders have ties to paramilitary groups and wanted millions for her return.

Video released by the military showed the woman smiling as she was embraced by a force member and shuttled away in a helicopter.

Melissa Martinez Garcia is the granddaughter of Jaime Garcia Marquez, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s brother.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.