FARC Postpones Hostage Release in Colombia
By Dialogo February 02, 2012
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has announced that it will indefinitely postpone the release of six police and Military personnel, to which it had committed in December 2011.
“The area that we had chosen for the release of the prisoners of war Luis Alfonso Beltrán, César Augusto Laso, Carlos José Duarte, Jorge Trujillo, Jorge Humberto Romero, and José Libardo Forero (…) has been unjustifiably militarized by the Colombian government, forcing us to postpone its implementation,” said the statement published by the guerrilla group on its website on February 1.
The communication, signed by the communist FARC’s secretariat, was addressed to prominent figures such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú and writers Elena Poniatowska and Isabel Allende, as well as former Colombian senator Piedad Córdoba, to whom the group had promised the releases.
“As soon as the insanity that has taken over Nariño Palace (the Colombian president’s office) recedes, we will make another attempt so that you will be able to welcome those who will be released,” the statement added.
The FARC stated that “patriotic Military personnel had alerted us to the intention of (President Juan Manuel) Santos’s administration to obtain a Military rescue at any cost, without considering that this might lead to a mournful result, as on November 26,” in reference to the deaths of four hostages held by that guerrilla group, murdered by their captors during combat with government forces.
After becoming acquainted with the terrorist organization’s statement, Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón declared on February 1, that the FARC has once again lied to the country. “These people are once again demonstrating the lies that they tell and how at base, they mock the Colombian people on an ongoing basis.”
The minister emphasized that in the process of rapprochement with the International Committee of the Red Cross, the place of the supposed releases was never mentioned, and he reiterated the administration’s willingness to facilitate the release of those kidnapped. “The administration insists that if they tell us the coordinates today, at what location they can be picked up, and what has to be done to get them today, that can be done.”
Finally, the defense minister expressed solidarity with the families of those kidnapped – one member of the Military and five police officers who have been in captivity for over 12 years – and rejected the FARC’s intention to convert the release of kidnapping victims into a media show. “We very much regret that the families continue to be subjected to a situation like this … not only on their account, but on that of the kidnapped individuals,” he stated.