2012-06-29

Guerrilla Suspected in Kidnapping of French Journalist in Colombia is Arrested

Archive photo of French journalist Romeo Langlois, who was kidnapped by the FARC in April, and held for over one month. (Photo: AFP)

Archive photo of French journalist Romeo Langlois, who was kidnapped by the FARC in April, and held for over one month. (Photo: AFP)

AFP

On June 27, Colombian police announced the arrest of a regional leader of the FARC guerrilla group who allegedly handled the politics of the kidnapping of French journalist Romeo Langlois, who was held for slightly over a month.

“Within the last few hours, alias ‘Nury’ or ‘La Peluda’ [The Hairy One] was arrested, the political leader of the FARC’s Front 15 (…), an individual with a decisive role in the case of the kidnapping of the French journalist Langlois,” José Roberto León, director of the Colombian National Police, told the media.

‘Nury,’ whose real name is Yedmy Sánchez Suárez, “was the one who handled the political and media use of Langlois’s kidnapping. She has a great deal of political experience in directing large groups,” Colonel Carlos Vargas, commander of the Police in the department of Caquetá (in southern Colombia), explained.

Sánchez Suárez, who was arrested in Florencia (the capital of Caquetá) following a tip, has been a member of the FARC for over 15 years, during which time she has been part of Fronts 14, 15, and 49, León said.

This is the first arrest related to Langlois’s kidnapping, which took place on April 28, during confrontations between rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian Army patrol with which the reporter was traveling.

In order to save his life, Langlois surrendered to the guerrilla group, which treated him for a bullet wound in one arm and declared him a “prisoner of war.”

Finally, on May 30, the FARC unilaterally turned the journalist over to a humanitarian mission, in which the group demanded that a special envoy of French President François Hollande be included.

After being released in a town in the Caquetá jungle, Langlois said that the guerrilla group had wanted to turn him over quickly, but upon seeing the backlash generated by holding him, they decided to use him to “engage in politics.”

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