First TV Images of French Reporter Held in Colombia
By Dialogo May 30, 2012
The first images of a French journalist held captive for a month by leftist rebels in the Colombian jungle were broadcast on May 28, days before his expected release.
In apparent good health, the France 24 reporter Romeo Langlois could be seen smiling in a camp in the jungle in the footage shown on Latin American TV station Telesur.
He was captured at the end of April by FARC rebels during an attack on a Colombian army unit he had embedded with to film a counter-drug operation. FARC said at the weekend that they would free Langlois on May 30.
“You know what you’re exposed to when you undertake this kind of activity… (but) the truth is I didn’t think it was going to get so big,” Langlois said in the footage, apparently referring to his reporting trip.
A French envoy joining a humanitarian mission to pick up Langlois out of the jungle was due to arrive in Bogota on May 28, according to French ambassador Pierre-Jean Vandoorne.
The envoy, who has not been identified, will be part of a delegation including the International Committee of the Red Cross and former Colombian senator Piedad Cordoba, to receive 35-year-old Langlois on Wednesday.
“We just have to hope everything goes well on the day,” Vandoorne said in a statement to radio Caracol, adding that he expected to meet the envoy later that day with other members of the mission after they arrive.
Founded in 1964, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia is the oldest and largest leftist guerrilla group in the country with some 9,200 fighters. In February, it renounced the practice of kidnappings for ransom.