Colombia’s largest rebel group FARC has 472 economic hostages and not the nine
the guerrillas admit to have, País Libre, a foundation that defends the
rights of (ex) hostages, says.
The rebels had admitted in a press statement this weekend to hold nine people captive for economic reasons (i.e. extortion).
“The official figures say, through a repetitive campaign, that the FARC would have in their power as much as 3,800 captives for economic reasons. We have consulted all our political-military structures on national terrain and can inform that at this day only nine captives are under FARC responsibility,” the FARC says.
Relatives of held members of the security forces reacted concerned about the FARC statement, because in the same press release they speak of twenty soldiers and policemen under their control, while previously they always spoke of 22.
The exact number of hostages in Colombia and those held by the FARC have always been unclear. Most of the hostages held in Colombia are held by common criminals and are badly registered. A few months ago, País Libre said the FARC had 700 hostagesand País Libre founder and current vice-Presicent francisco Santos said the FARC would have killed most hostages and have no more than 150 left.