Colombian President Alvaro Uribe on Sunday announced the rescue of FARC hostages General Luis Mendieta and Colonel Enrique Murillo, who spent the last 12 years in captivity. The country’s defense minister says that a third hostage was also rescued.
President Uribe made this announcement, “The Joint Operations Command of our armed forces has just rescued General Luis Mendieta and Colonel Murillo. We are fighting in the jungles of Guaviare to get them out unharmed. Already both are being held by our forces and our forces are still fighting there. It is a very difficult operation that has being going on for months. They have killed one of our sergeants. Already both General Mendieta and Colonel Murillo are safe, held by the armed forces and we continue to fight there in an attempt to rescue the others.”
Uribe went on to thank the country’s armed forces and their commander, General Oscar Naranjo, for their part in the rescue mission.
“General, many thanks, and all the congratulations to the country’s soldiers and police. For this we Colombians must love our soldiers and police, support them, embrace them,” said the president.
General Mendieta and Colonel Murillo will be taken to the Barrancon military base in San Jose de Guaviare, where their families will be brought to see them.
General Mendieta spent the last 12 years in FARC captivity, and was promoted whilst in captivity from colonel to general. The day of the rescue operation marked the soldier’s 53rd birthday.