Brazil’s defense minister said his country is prepared to assist the Colombian government in the event of a humanitarian mission to rescue French journalist Romeo Langlois, reported local media Wednesday.
Langlois turned himself over to an alleged FARC front when an army unit he was embedded with came under attack from the guerrillas.
On Tuesday a self-identified FARC member told Colombian media that Langloais was safe and considered a “prisoner of war.”
“It would have to be known if he is kidnapped or not, and Brazil, like in other situations, if the Colombian government asks, is ready to participate in a humanitarian rescue operation,” said Brazilian Defense Minister Celso Amorim after a meeting with Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon.
He went on to note that a rescue mission at present would be premature saying, “I think that it is a little early to talk about rescue in this case, for the reason that what happened is not clear, because I understand that there was an agreement on the part of the FARC to not continue kidnapping.”
The FARC promised to end the kidnapping of civilians in February, which obliges them to release Langloais according to Pinzon.
“If this organization has him, it has to release him, it can’t leave him kidnapped,” said Pinzon, adding, “they would be threatening freedom of the press, threatening a journalist, threatening a civilian, and threatening the rules of international humanitarian law.”
The Brazilian government lent Colombia helicopters for last month’s operation in which the government recovered the last of the security force hostages being held by the rebel group.
Strategy to fight transnational organized crime will be a central topic at the assembly.