The family of a former city council member, kidnapped in 2001, has called upon Colombia’s largest rebel group FARC to release information revealing his location.
Adiela Diaz, the sister of the kidnapped municipal politician, Palmira Oswaldo Diaz, criticized the validity of a FARC declaration claiming that they had ended their policy of holding kidnapped persons for ransom while in peace talks with the government.
“If you say you are not holding any kidnapped people, then answer: what did you do with my brother?” Adiela Diaz said to RCN radio on Monday. She directed her accusation at Jorge Torres Victoria, known as “Pablo Catatumbo,” one of the FARC delegation at the peace talks in Havana, Cuba. “And if he is dead then admit it and put an end to this nightmare.”
Diaz pointed to a video she had received in 2006 in which Catatumbo claimed FARC rebels were holding her brother “prisoner” for “crimes of corruption.”
In February 2012, the FARC announced an organizational directive prohibiting “retention of persons for economic means.” According to negotiators in Havana, the directive had applied to all FARC rebels in Colombia.
Government statistics published in June estimated that there had been some 40,000 kidnappings in Colombia between 1970 and 2010, 37% of which were allegedly carried out by the FARC. A conviction has been achieved in just 8% of the 40,000 kidnappings.