Colombia’s Catholic Church Friday expressed concern that negotiations with the FARC over the release of hostages Pablo Emilio Moncayo and Josue Daniel Calvo may fade into the background in the lead up to national elections, El Espectador reported Friday.
Archbishop Ruben Salazar asked politicians to keep a humanitarian conscience and not simply focus on political interests.
Salazar said the Church is concerned that negotiations may be influenced by Colombia’s electoral climate, and that for that reason they should be concluded as soon as possible.
The Archbishop added that the Church is not currently active in the negotiation process, but that “We are ready. When the government calls us to tell us that everything is ready we will go and act as negositators. Until then there is nothing we can do.”
Negotiations for the soldiers’ release have been ongoing for almost a year now, with the FARC first announcing that it would release the hostages in April 2009.
The Colombian government broke a stalemate in negotiations late last November when it authorized the International Red Cross and the Catholic Church to begin negotiations with the FARC over the long-awaited release.