FARC Release Video Of Two Hostages In Colombia

By Dialogo
August 18, 2009

Leftist Colombian guerrillas released videos of a police officer and a soldier who are among a group of 23 hostages held deep in the jungle. In the videos broadcast by Venezuela-based Telesur television, police officer Guillermo Javier Solorzano, held captive since July 2007, and soldier Salin Antonio San Miguel, who was kidnapped in May 2008, greeted their families. "From here, from this jungle, we plead to those who have the power to bring us back to do something for us, to help us, to realize that we're suffering here, with stoicism, with courage and dignity," Solorzano said in a message welcomed by families of the hostages as proof they were still alive. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Latin America's oldest and largest insurgency, has been battling the government in Bogota for 45 years. The jungle-based group holds 23 police officers and soldiers as hostages and wants to exchange 21 of these "political prisoners" for jailed FARC rebels. It has offered to release another two unilaterally. President Alvaro Uribe, a conservative who is a close US ally, has agreed to FARC demands that leftist Senator Piedad Cordoba negotiate the release of hostages, but only on condition that the guerrillas release all soldiers they still hold in the jungle. Cordoba, who heads a civil movement seeking a mediated solution to the conflict, received the videos. She said the FARC was expected to release more evidence that other hostages are still alive in the coming days.