Government ready to negotiate hostage release: Defense Minister

Colombia’s Defense Minister announced Wednesday that the government is ready and willing to start negotiations to ensure the release of six hostages being held by the FARC, but is being held back by a lack of contact from the guerrillas.

Speaking to Radio Caracol, Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon reiterated, “If they told us today where they were, we would do everything necessary to return them to their families, what is most unfair and painful is that they are using the media coverage as a commodity.

“At the time when they tell us, the moment they tell us, we will do everything in our power so that these people are returned to their families.”

The hostages to be released — all members of the Colombian armed forces — have been held by the FARC in the Colombian jungle since being kidnapped 13 years ago during an attack on their police station.

The guerrilla group made the announcement last week that it would release six of the 11 hostages, though so far it has only revealed the identity of three.

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