Colombia Red Cross hopeful on French reporter’s release

BOGOTÁ, Colombia — A Red Cross official in Colombia said May 14 that he was optimistic about the release of kidnapped French journalist Roméo Langlois, urging the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to free him “as soon as possible.”

“We are very optimistic and are now awaiting a speedy resolution,” said Daniel Muñoz, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the southern department of Caquetá.

“As we have said all along, this cannot go on. Roméo Langlois is hurt and must be released and returned to his family right away,” Muñoz said after a FARC message announced the group’s intention to free the journalist.

“This is why we insist that this process take place as soon and quickly as possible,” he added.

A correspondent for the French television channel France 24, the 35-year-old journalist was captured April 28 by the Marxist guerrillas during a battle with Colombian troops that erupted during an anti-drug operation he was filming.

Wounded in the arm, Langlois surrendered to the guerrillas peacefully.

To hasten his release, the ICRC did not ask for “proof of life,” which has sometimes been the case for hostages held by the FARC.

“Based on public information and information that we have directly received, we are sufficiently confident of the fact that Roméo Langlois is in the FARC’s hands and that he is, as they have said, alive, wounded in the arm but in good health,” Muñoz said.

[AFP, 15/05/2012; Rcnradio.com (Colombia), 15/05/2012]

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