Colombia’s armed forces on Wednesday suspended military operations in an area in the southwest of the country. The temporary halt of operations is to allow a humanitarian mission carry out the first of two operations aimed at releasing three members of the security forces recently held captive by rebel group FARC.
The suspension of military activity followed a day after former Senator Piedad Cordoba, leader of peace activist group Colombians for Peace, announced that she had received the coordinates of where two policemen will be surrendered to her and delegates of the Red Cross.
The release operations is expected to take place before Friday 6AM when the armed forces will continue activity in one of the regions where the FARC exercise most control and fighting takes place continuously.
A second operation is expected to be held within days seeks to release a soldier captured by rebels in the more southern Nariño department late last month.
The FARC, Colombia’s oldest and largest rebel movement, banned kidnapping for economical and political reason in February last year. It has since held “political prisoners” but these were released within weeks after their kidnapping, apparently without ransom.
The rebel group has been involved in peace talks with the government of President Juan Manuel Santos since late last year. Both parties have expressed their desire to end the armed conflict between rebels and state that has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions over the past decades.