“Despite all the efforts, do not forget that there are still hostages,” said Olga Lucia Gomez, director of the NGO following a meeting with Members of the European Parliament to raise awareness of the ongoing issue, who had shown “good will” according to Gomez.
Gomez said that it was important to remember that only 1% of the hostages currently being held by illegal armed groups are military and police, while the rest are civilians.
“We propose that the new [Colombian] government sit down and look at the figures,” said Gomez, who believes that new policies need to be introduced that pay more attention to integration programs and “greater social investment.”
Fundacion Pais Libre assists victims of disappearance and kidnapping and was founded in 1992 by current vice president, Francisco Santos, who was himself kidnapped by Pablo Escobar‘s Medellin Cartel in 1990.
Earlier in the month, the commander of Colombia’s Armed Forces, General Fredy Padilla de Leon, called on famed “Las Voces del Secuestro” (Voices of the Abducted) radio show host Herbin Hoyos to organize a protest march to demand that the FARC release their hostages.
Seventeen members of Colombia’s police and army still remain in FARC captivity, one of whom, Corporal Jose Martinez, has been held hostage for thirteen years.