The guerrilla group rescinded its promise to release the hostages earlier Wednesday, claiming the government was not operating in good faith and was planning a military rescue.
Colombians for Peace spokeswoman, Marleny Orjuela, appealed to President Juan Manuel Santos, invoking the memory of a botched rescue last November that left four hostages dead. “We want to make it clear that we vehemently oppose the military rescue of our loved ones by blood and fire,” she said. “The Colombian community wants to greet the hostages alive and free, not dead and wrapped in flags like they delivered [the hostages] on November 26.”
Addressing the FARC, Orjuela said “Leaders of the FARC, do not prolong this pain, give us the possibility. Do not suspend the release.”
Orjuela also reiterated her organization’s request for the release of all FARC-held hostages. “We ask for not only the release of some police and soldiers, but the release of all hostages; so there maybe dialogue between the Santos government and the FARC guerrillas.”
Wednesday’s FARC message left open the possibility of a later release date, saying, “Our unilateral determination [to free the hostages] is still standing.”
The six hostages are among 11 members of the security forces held hostage by the FARC in the Colombian jungle. The guerrillas also hold an unknown number of civilians hostage for extortion purposes.