Colombian Government Awaits Information on FARC Hostage Release

By Dialogo
December 22, 2010

The Colombian government is waiting for the FARC guerrilla group to indicate the coordinates of the place and date for the liberation of five hostages, for which purpose it has offered “to facilitate everything necessary,” President Juan Manuel Santos said on 20 December.

“As soon as they give us the coordinates, we will facilitate everything that might be necessary so that those individuals who have been kidnapped can be freed,” Santos indicated in an interview with the broadcaster La W Radio.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a communist group, announced on 8 December that they would unilaterally release two members of the military, two town councillors, and a police officer, kidnapped between 2007 and 2010, whom they would turn over to Piedad Córdoba, a former senator removed from office.

A day later, Santos authorized the operation, for which it is hoped that Brazil will provide logistical support with helicopters and their crews. According to Córdoba, the operation will take around a month from the date it was announced.

Córdoba was removed from her parliamentary seat at the beginning of November, after the public prosecutor’s office declared her ineligible for eighteen years, asserting that she had exceeded her authority as a mediator with the FARC, with which she is alleged to maintain ties.

Since 2008, Córdoba has intervened in the release of fourteen hostages held by the FARC, in several cases with the help of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.