Forty Army Rangers shimmied down cables into the heart of the jungle to install cameras and microphones in preparation for July’s ‘Operation Jaque’ which rescued 15 key FARC hostages, charges a new book on the rescue mission.
While reports have long said Americans were involved in the operation, which was portrayed by the Colombian government as a predominantly homegrown effort, the book compiles the previous investigations of The New York Times and The Washington Post to give a full view of what happened, Semana reports.
“Operación Jaque: secretos no revelados” or “Operation Check: Unrevealed Secrets,” says that some 900 to 1,000 soldiers, medics, mechanics, engineers and specialists—about double the 500 allowed by American law—entered Colombia in the months before the rescue.
Having noted the approximate position of the rebels based on a previous release, the United States had sent in its own mission to secure the release months before. But when one of the captive’s minders found a hidden microphone, the operation was discontinued. From there, it seems, began the successful joint operation.
The book also reveals a demobilized FARC member took part in the operation and that the USB drives found in the pockets of the two guerrillas captured in the operation remain in FBI, not Colombian, hands.
In related news, Marc Gonsalves, one of the rescued American contractors, said many of his FARC minders “are slaves that want to flee,” in an interview with RCN radio.
“Some of them know that what they are doing is very bad, they recognize their errors and want to leave from there,” he said, then added a direct appeal: “I know that you all will be welcome if you leave the jungle and reintegrate into society… and much more so if you bring the hostages.”
Gonsalves mother, Jo Rosano, who recently became a Colombian citizen, also commented on the show.
“Faith is larger than all the fears we have,” she said. I know that the captives know that I have not forgotten about them because my son was rescued.”