The United Nations (U.N.) released a statement Wednesday saying that the prolonged imprisonment and inhumane treatment of hostages by the FARC constitute war crimes and, or crimes against humanity under international law, El Espectador reported.
The statement also demanded the “immediate and unconditional release” of all hostages still held by the FARC.
The U.N.’s statement follows the release of FARC hostage Josue Calvo last Sunday and Pablo Emilio Moncayo on Tuesday after 12 years in captivity.
The U.S State Department representative Mark Toner said Wednesday that the U.S. “welcomes the release of the hostages Josue Calvo and Pablo Emilio Moncayo. We send our best wishes to their families and we continue to call on the FARC to release all its remaining hostages.”
“We also support President Uribe’s efforts to secure the safe release of all hostages,” Toner said.
The FARC have announced that Moncayo’s was their last hostage release, and from now on they will only participate in humanitarian exchanges of FARC hostages for guerrillas incarcerated in both Colombia and the U.S.
A statement released by the FARC Tuesday said that “the immediate exchange of prisoners of war is the only viable way for the prisoners in the jungle and the guerillas imprisoned in the dungeons of Colombia and the United States to return to freedom without threatening their physical integrity,” reported Global Geopolitics.
Senator Piedad Cordoba, who has been instrumental in the liberation missions, has agitated for a humanitarian exchange and says that the exchange must occur before the end of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe’s term on August 7 this year, because negotiations with a new Colombian president “would be difficult”.
Uribe on Sunday opened the doors to the possibility, saying that he was “not against a humanitarian exchange provided that the released FARC fighters do not return to the FARC.”