Colombia’s second largest guerrilla group ELN, on Friday released two German hostages held since November.
After a suspension of the release mission Thursday – when the hostages were originally supposed to be freed – the mission resumed 7AM Friday morning in a rural area of Colombia’s Norte de Santander department, according to government attaché Jaime Bernal Cueller.
The rescued hostages, one of whom is reportedly sick, were transferred by helicopter to the nearby Aguas Claras airport.
The two retired German tourists, Uwe and Gunther Otto Breur, were captured by the rebels in the northern Catatumbo region in November of 2012. The ELN said that the men were to be considered “foreign intelligence agents until proven otherwise.”
The Red Cross has been working together with former Colombian politicians, Horacio Serpa and Bernal, since February to negotiate the foreigners’ release.