FARC proof of life videos released Monday show the ten captive soldiers and policemen speaking to their families while chained around their necks.
The hostages, who appeared gaunt and disoriented, were seated in front of a camouflage tarpaulin to hide their jungle location. Commander of the Armed Forces General Freddy Padilla de León said that the videos were supposedly addressed to the FARC high command, which were to review and edit them to further dissemination.
“These videos have not been [as thoroughly edited as] in the past. The FARC has never released videos that would damage their image.
“[In the sezied footage] The detainees are in deplorable physical condition, with heavy chains and padlocks around their necks,” he said.
Police officer Carlos José Duarte Rojas tells his family, “I hope to get out of here so that… I can get to know you better. I hope to see you soon.”
Officer Jorge Trujillo rocks compulsively in his seat. He blinks often. “I am in good health,” he begins, soft-spoken. His hair is close-cropped and his beard flecked with gray. As his message to his family continues, he takes long pauses. FARC photographers’ flashes light up the camouflage screen behind him.
Twenty-four high-profile members of Colombia’s security forces are being held in secret FARC jungle camps. The proof of life videos have been released to pressure the government into brokering a release agreement, but this seems a long way away.
President Alvaro Uribe insists that all twenty-four hostages be released at once, a condition which the FARC says is impossible. They will only free the hostages in exchange for jailed guerrillas.