News of a Kidnapping opens in Bogotá, Colombia, in November 1990 with the kidnapping of Maruja Pachón de Villamizar and her sister-in-law, Beatriz Villamizar de Guerrero. Their abduction is part of a series of high-profile abductions launched by the Pablo Escobar drug cartel, which began the past August. The drug cartel is attempting to change a new governmental policy that could lead to their extradition to the United States should they surrender to Colombian authorities. These drug traffickers are collectively known as the Extraditables.
Eight men and women, all journalists except one, have already been taken and are being held captive. Diana Turbay, accompanied by a news team, was lured into a trap on August 30 when she was offered the opportunity to meet with a guerrilla leader. Marina Montoya was kidnapped on September 18 outside of her restaurant. Four hours later, Francisco ''Pacho'' Santos was taken from his car.
Maruja and Beatriz are taken to a house in Bogotá, where they share a small room with Marina. For the most part, they are treated harshly during their captivity; for example, they are forced to speak in whispers. Pacho is held in another house in Bogotá, but he faces more amenable conditions with friendly guards and regular access to books and newspapers. Diana's group, held captive in and around Medellín, are split up; throughout their captivity, they are forced to move numerous times.