Responding to statements in a FARC video released Wednesday — in which commander Ivan Marquez gave the names of six hostages to be imminently released — Juan Carlos Esguerra said, “What exchange would [ever] be a constitutional norm? That would be the absurd of the absurd.”
Marquez stated at the end of Wednesday’s tape: “As long as the conflict exists, the exchange of prisoners should be elevated to a constitutional norm that the government is obliged [to follow].”
Esguerra said such an amendment would allow the FARC to kidnap anyone then demand the release of a jailed rebel in return for their liberation.
Pinzano echoed Esguerra’s rejection of the prisoner exchange proposal, saying the process was covered by the Geneva Convention, rendering a consitutional amendment unnecessary.
The family of one of the hostages expressed their relief at the news, reported newspaper El Espectador. Miryam Lasso, the sister of Sergeant Cesar Augusto Lasso who was captured more than 13 years ago, said his release would be the best present at the beginning of the year, and signaled hope for Colombia’s search for peace.
Lasso’s mother, Fabiola Monsalve, who has been one of the leaders in the campaign for the hostages’ freedom, expressed her happiness and asked everybody to send their blessings as the release process moved forward.