According to Pizarro, the release operation arrived at the coordinates given by the FARC to retrieve Guillermo Solorzano and Salin Sanmiguel, only to find that neither hostage was there. Instead, the two men are being held in Cauca, not Tolima as the FARC had said.
Pizarro said, “the guerrilla has committed a scandalous act. This is very strange behaviour and we are concerned.” He also added that the government had done everything that was required for the release, upholding its promise to cease all military operations in the area.
Discussions between the government and the release mission have been ongoing since the failure, with mediator Piedad Cordoba requesting the final phase of the mission to be carried out at 6:00AM Monday.
However, the government has said that it will not make a decision on the future of the release operation until Monday.
Piedad Cordoba meanwhile tweeted that she refuses to comment on the matter. Earlier in the day she had expressed her desire to lead possible peace negotiations between the government and the FARC following successful hostage releases.
The families of the two men are saddened by the failure but remain optimistic that it will go ahead soon. Solorzano´s wife told Caracol radio, “we are sad and demotivated but we are praying and putting together all our positive energy for a quick release.”
Earlier reports had attributed the failure of the mission to bad weather conditions with the brother of Solorzano telling media that this was the reason given to the families.