The head of the Catholic Church called on the Colombian government to expediate the process of hostage negotaitions with the FARC. Negotiations have remained deadlocked for several months
Monsignor Juan Vicente Cordoba of the church’s assembly of bishops said that while there was a delay in the logistics of the hostages handover operation, all parties remain willing to participate. He therefore asked the government to expediate the process as much as possible.
Monsignor Cordoba stressed that the FARC are still willing to hand over the hostages. “The process has not been closed,” he said.
Hostage negotiations with the FARC have barely progressed since July, when Colombian President Alvaro Uribe authorized ‘Colombians for Peace’ leader and Opposition Senator Piedad Cordoba to participate in negotiations to free 24 FARC hostages.
The President’s announcement broke a deadlock in negotiations. The FARC had promised to release hostages in April, but the operation stalled when the guerrillas demanded Senator Cordoba’s participation in the release.
Senator Cordoba has since blamed the government for the ongoing delay in negotiations. She insists Uribe should take the initiative in seeking a prisoner swap with the FARC.
The Uribe administration has always rejected the ‘humanitarian exchange’ and demands the rebels unilaterally release the members of the Armed Forces held in the jungle.
In 2007, Cordoba participated in hostage negotiations that led to the release of FARC hostages Clara Rojas and Consuelo Gonzalez.