Piedad Cordoba: ‘Moncayo and Calvo free in a month’

Leftist senator Piedad Cordoba said that general Pablo Emilio Moncayo and soldier Joshua Daniel Calvo would be freed by the FARC in less than a month.

According to the senator, the first delivery of hostages would include “Moncayo’s son (Pablo Emilio), Private Joshua Daniel Calvo, the remains of Major Guevara, and we have also requested the delivery of José Libio Martínez, the other hostage who [has been there the longest].” The second delivery would comprise the other 19 captive security forces personnel.

On Thursday the senator released a proof-of-life video of Moncayo, who has been held by the rebel organization for almost twelve years. He has become a symbol of the plight of those kidnapped, and his father has been vocally campaigning for his son’s freedom, which included an effort to crucify himself in Bogota‘s Plaza Bolivar to draw attention to the plight of FARC captives.

The video was made public almost a week after President Alvaro Uribe softened his demands that the FARC simultaneously release 24 military and policemen held captive, to now allow the unilateral and gradual delivery of hostages offered by the guuerrillas.

Newspaper El Espectador reports that the FARC initally offered to deliver Moncayo in May. However, there has been much political wrangling: the government initially opposed the gradual release of hostages, saying that the guerrillas sought to gain political [power] and clean up their international image in the face of looming legislative and presidential elections.

The FARC, which has also reduced its demands regarding hostage releases, seeks an agreement with the government to exchange political captives for hundreds of jailed guerrillas.

From UN headquarters in New York, President Alvaro Uribe said that “the government has nothing to say” regarding Moncayo’s proof-of-life video. “That these bandits free him now,” El Espectador reported him as saying.

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