The army seriously endangered the release of four members of the
security forces last Sunday by conducting overflights and taking photos
of the operation. The commission in charge of the operation was never
told about these airforce operations beforehand, Daniel Samper, member
of the commission said Friday.
Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos had said there had been agreement about the overflights, but Samper told Caracol Radio the allowed height of overflights never was not discussed until during the hostage release operation when the guerrillas of the FARC were about to cancel the release.
According to Samper, the ICRC tried calling High Commissioner of Peace Luis Carlos Restrepo while in the jungle with the FARC, but found his phone switched to voicemail immediately. The ICRC then called Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos, but had lost two hours because of the ordeal, the journalist added.
The military action led to great friction between ‘Colombians for Peace’ and Restrepo. The Government immediately dismissed the civilian group as part of the humanitarian mission. Restrepo was dismissed as government coordinator of the operation Wednesday after the second release caused frictions between press and the High Commissioner.
The chaotic release of the four uniformed led to a 24-hour delay of the release of Meta governor Alan Jara and Valle deputy Sigifredo López.