The FARC publish their first statement since the failure on Sunday to release the final two hostages scheduled to be freed that week, and claim that they provided the correct information for the operation.
In a statement provided to Caracol Radio, the guerrilla group maintain that the coordinates for the release site were given in a “timely manner,” and that they are investigating why the liberation of Salin Sanmiguel and Guillermo Solorzano failed.
They also confirmed their commitment to the eventual release of the two men to Piedad Cordoba and the Red Cross, “once the government has agreed to the necessary guarantees and protocols.”
This is an additional revelation in the ongoing saga of placing the blame that began Sunday when the government furiously accused the FARC of providing the wrong coordinates.
Piedad Cordoba will meet the Brazilian helicopters on Wednesday when she travels to the new base.
Although she has claimed the operation could happen on either Thursday or Friday, the government must first wait to receive coordinates for the new release site in order to cease military operations in the area. Only then will the mission proceed.
In an interview with CNN en Español, Santos said he didn’t rule out the possibility that the FARC had used the temporary suspension of military activity in the area where the hostage releases were to take place to allow important leaders, maybe even supreme leader “Alfonso Cano” to move around without risking a run-in with the military. According to Santos, this may have caused the guerrillas to fail to deliver the hostages.
The mobile Arturo Ruiz Block of the FARC-EP informs the national opinion:
Mobile Arturo Ruiz Block
- Unfortunately, yesterday, for reasons we are investigating, it was not
possible to complete the unilateral release of all the prisoners of
war as announced by the FARC-EP.
- From the moment the public announcement of the release was made, the
daily combats with the army in the area where the prisoners, Guillermo
Solorzano and soldier Salin San Miguel, are have not ceased, which is
exactly where they will be surrendered to doctor Piedad Cordoba and
whose coordinates, in the border region between Valle and Cauca, were
transmitted in a timely manner.
- The difficulties that eventually are generated in the development of
this type of processes require a high dose of responsibility in
management, given the serious consequences that may result if the
loud-mouthedness, the disqualification and the levity in analysis by
those representing the government prevails, while they should secure
a successful ending.
- We reiterate the decision to fulfill the public promise of the
Secretariat of the Central High Command to surrender the prisoners
Guillermo Solorzano and Soldier Salin Sanmiguel once the the national
government reiterates the agreed guarantees and protocols.
Mountains of Colombia, February 14, 2011