Colombia’s Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said the release operation of six FARC held hostages needs no outside financing.
Pinzon’s comments come as a response to a campaign started on Sunday by civil group Colombians for Peace (CCP).
CCP asked Colombian businesses for donations towards the rental of helicopters. CCP leader, ex senator, and former hostage negotiator Piedad Cordoba said the goal is to “avoid burdening other governments and avoid the lack of confidence that looms with the use of Colombian military aircraft.”
Pinzon, responded at a press conference at Catam military airbase saying “Frankly financing is not necessary. If they tells us where [the hostages] are tomorrow, we’ll send army helicopters or any other kind of aircraft.”
Pinzon added, “we will bring these people home safe and sound as soon as possible. And without the media show that plays with [the hostages] lives everyday.”
The Colombian government until now allowed foreign helicopters and helicopter personnel to take part in hostage release missions.
Pinzon said he would probably meet with the Red Cross some time next week to further develop hostage recovery protocol.
The FARC has yet to announce the release date of Luis Alfonso Beltran, Sergeant Cesar Augusto Lasso, Second Lieutenants Carlos Jose Duarte, Jorge Trujillo, Jorge Romero and Jose Libardo Forero, the six hostages in question, and whether they accept the government’s condition not to allow foreign assistance in the operations.