Town Councillor Held Hostage by the FARC Is Freed in Colombia

By Dialogo
February 11, 2011

Town councillor Marcos Baquero, the first of five hostages the FARC has offered to turn over this week in Colombia, was freed on 9 February, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which is in charge of the operation, announced.

“The ICRC confirms the release of town councillor Marcos Baquero, who was turned over to the humanitarian committee,” ICRC spokesperson María Cristina Rivera told the press at the airport in Villavicencio (95 km south of Bogotá), where his family is awaiting him.

“At this time, the helicopter made available by the government of Brazil and duly identified with the emblems of the Red Cross is transporting Baquero to Villavicencio, where he will be reunited with his family after one year and seven months of separation,” she added.

The ICRC specified that Baquero was turned over to the humanitarian delegation, made up of former senator Piedad Córdoba, two ICRC delegates, and a representative of the collective Colombian Men and Women for Peace, in a rural area of the department of El Meta, in central Colombia.

In a series of operations, the FARC is expected to release Marine Henry López and town councilor Armando Acuña in Florencia (in southern Colombia) on 11 February and Police Maj. Guillermo Solórzano and Army Cpl. Salín Sanmiguel in Ibagué (in central Colombia) on 13 February.

The five were kidnapped by the FARC on various occasions between 2007 and 2010.