FARC hostage release mediator Piedad Cordoba said Tuesday morning that a humanitarian exchange with the guerrilla organization must occur before the end of current Colombian President Alvaro Uribe‘s term, which expires on August 7 of this year.
Cordoba, who is in the south Colombian city of Florencia today to participate in the highly anticipated handover of FARC hostage Pablo Emilio Moncayo, said she thought it was possible that the humanitarian exchange could be organized quickly.
The ‘Colombians for Peace’ leader’s comments follow a statement by Uribe Sunday that he was “not against a humanitarian exchange provided that the released FARC fighters do not return to the FARC.”
According to Cordoba, the FARC already have a proposal for the humanitarian exchange, which they are prepared to put to Uribe, through ‘Colombians for Peace’.
“It should be studied,” Cordoba said. “The task is for this government, and shouldn’t be waited on because that would lengthen the situation and it could take another two or three years [to negotiate a release under another government],” Cordoba said. Cordoba said that under a new president, conditions wouldn’t be as favorable for an exchange.
Cordoba will participate today in the hand over of long-time FARC hostage Moncayo. The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Catholic Church will also participate in the release, scheduled to begin at 9AM.
Cordoba said that all the logistics are in place and that she hoped that the hand over would be as successful as that of Josue Daniel Calvo, who the FARC released last Sunday. Cordoba also participated in Calvo’s release.
Moncayo, a Colombian soldier, has been a FARC hostage for 12 years. His family anxiously await his release in Florencia.
Expect updates today on Moncayo’s release.