The mother of deceased FARC hostage Julian Ernesto Guevara was reported to be in poor health and receiving medical attention, as the humanitarian mission charged with retrieving her son’s remains took off from a Villavicencio airport.
Before taking off from the airport, release participant Piedad Cordoba tweeted she was concerned for Guevara’s mother Emperatriz de Guevara, who appears to be in poor health due to the stress of the operation.
The humanitarian mission, comprising of Senator Cordoba, Monseñor Leonardo Gomez, a delegate from the International Committe of the Red Cross (ICRC) and a delegate from the Colombian prosecutor general’s office, is aboard a Brazilian helicopter.
The helicopter will transport the mission to the undisclosed jungle location, where they will receive Guevara’s exhumed remains from FARC guerrillas. The ICRC delegate will be responsible for transferring the Colombian policeman’s remains into a specialized coffin before the mission returns to the Villavicencio airport.
Following the mission’s return, Emperatriz de Guevara will be given the time she desires in a private room at the airport with her son’s remains.
When the Guevara family is ready, the body will be handed over to the prosecutor general, who is charged with sending the remains to national forensics agency Medicina Legal. The forensics agency will do a DNA analysis to clarify that the remains are those of Guevara. DNA analysis results are expected within a week.
Guevara’s family hope that being able to bury their loved one may bring them some peace.
“In a way, my son is still a captive,” Emperatriz de Guevara said.
Guevara’s sister Marcela Guevara expressed relief that her brother will finally be brought home, saying, “this as a pain that has not ended, we have been waiting for Julian’s remains for four years.
Semana reports that Colombian police force psychologists have worked with the Guevara family to help them prepare mentally for the arrival of their loved one’s remains.
The Brazilian helicopter transporting the mission is expected back in Villavicencio within the next few hours.
Major Guevara was one of 42 Colombian policemen kidnapped by the FARC in November 1998. The FARC announced in a press release in 2006 that Guevara had passed away in captivity.