The families of two policemen who were taken captive 12 years ago on Monday, asked the guerrillas to release their loved ones.
The two cops, sergeant Cesar Augusto Lasso Monsalve and Luis Hernando Peña Bonilla, were captured on November 1, 1998 during a guerrilla attack on the south Colombian town of Mitu, on the border with Brazil.
In the massive attack, 43 soldiers, policemen and civilians were killed, 47 were injured and 61 were taken captive. Peña Bonilla and Lasso Monsalve were never released by the FARC. According to a former hostage, the guerrillas killed Peña in 2008, but this has not been confirmed by the FARC.
“We need (the FARC) to release them or send us proof of life,” the mother of Lasso Monsalvo told local media. The last proof of life video of her son was released in September 2009, in which Lasso Monsalvo appeared “sick, exhausted and deteriorated.”
The mother of Peña Bonilla said she was “sad” and “desperate” after not having received any proof of life since 2002 and hearing stories of his alleged death in the jungle.
“I ask the FARC to inform me on what happened with my son, what his fate was,” the mother said, adding that if her son is dead she wants the guerrillas to surrender his remains.
According to official figures, the FARC are holding 17 members of the security forces captive. The guerrillas want the Colombian authorities to release hundreds of captured guerrillas in a “prisoner exchange.”