Colombia’s largest rebel group FARC kidnapped 326 people in between 2000 and
2008. 156 of these hostages are held for extortion, the País Libre
(Free Country) Foundation said Monday. The FARC earlier admitted to
have nine “economic” hostages.
The foundation calculated their exact number of hostages again after the numbers of the foundation, the FARC and the government all came with a different amount of hostages.
According to País Libre, 95 kidnap cases were dealt with by the foundation itself. The remaining 231 hostages the foundation says the FARC have were calculated by using filtered Government figures. The foundation did not consider these figures to be “conclusive”.
According to Claudia Llano, kidnapping expert of the foundation, both the FARC and Government figures show a “macabre” inventory, because of the discrepancies in the calculations of both parties.
“We ask the FARC and ELN to tell the truth about the situation of the hostages in their power. To the Government we say that we expect cleaned up figures explaining the situation of each and every hostage; if they escaped, if they were liberated, if they died, or if they are still held captive.”
País Libre complains the Government is not willing to openly debug their hostage information. “No one knows why they are doing this behind closed doors and why they are working like this on an issue that is so important for the country,” País Libre director Olga Lucía Gómez said.