Colombian President Angered As Rebels Kidnap Two

By Dialogo
February 14, 2011

What the president, Mr. Santos, says is something that is very true, during the more than 50 years that FARC has been rebelling, they have used all of the Colombians, and they are doing it now more than ever, it is not fair that they pretend to deliver kidnapped people and on the other hand kidnap more people, but the real problem resides with those politicians that look to stand out without caring about they have to do to accomplish their mission, as is the case of ex Senator Piedad Cordoba, a woman without scruples, someone who has always been concerned about the state FARC finds itself and not to what happens to Colombians, remember how this woman effusively greeted the terrorists on the day the town was liberated, and what is sadder is that many Colombians see her as the next Mother Theresa of Calcutta, how sad…
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos lashed out at leftist FARC guerrillas on 10 February over the abduction of two factory workers, a day after the rebels freed the first of five hostages they promised to release.

Santos said that he was tempted to cancel an order to stop military operations in southern Colombia, a condition guerrillas with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) say is necessary to release their hostages.

“It is totally unacceptable that the FARC on one hand is releasing hostages as an act of generosity, and on the other is kidnapping more people,” he said.

The day before, FARC freed Marcos Baquero, 33, the first of five hostages to be released by the guerrillas.

But the night before they allegedly abducted two workers from a cardboard factory in the El Tambo area of the southern department of Cauca.

“We demand the freedom of all those kidnapped and reject this double standard,” Santos said.

The guerrillas released Baquero, a local councilman, to intermediaries in an elaborate operation in the central Meta department. He was flown to Villavicencio, 95 kilometers south of Bogota, aboard a Brazilian air force helicopter with Red Cross markings.

FARC rebels have pledged to release a Colombian marine and another municipal council member on Friday near the town of Florencia in southeastern Colombia, and a police major and a soldier on Sunday in Ibaque in the center of the country.

Despite his anger, Santos said he would not thwart the upcoming release operations.

“I do not want to frustrate the hope that the families have,” Santos said. “But I do want to say that this two-timing, this dual morality, is totally unacceptable.”

Santos spoke as a team of intermediaries that include former senator Piedad Cordoba and two delegates from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) met in Florencia to prepare for the scheduled Friday release.

FARC, which has been at war with the Colombian government since 1964, has between 7,000 and 11,000 fighters and is holding at least 19 soldiers and police officers hostage.

The rebels have long demanded a hostage-for-prisoner swap, something both Santos and his predecessor, Alvaro Uribe, have refused to consider.



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