“The liberation of the policeman happened thanks to the good faith of all those parties involved and we give thanks that soon this member of the security forces will be able to see his loved ones,” said Jordi Raich, chief of the ICRC in Colombia, after the handing over of the policeman in the municipailty of Leiva, Nariño.
Raich added that in the course of 2013 the ICRC has been involved in the release of 17 kidnapped persons in Colombia as a neutral intermediary. Since 1994, more than 1500 people kidnapped by armed groups have been released.
“We are always ready to offer our services in future humanitarian operations,” he said.
The ICRC has offered to act as intermediaries in the release of Kevin Scott Sutay, the American soldier taken by the FARC in June while walking through the jungles of Guaviare state.
The FARC wants US civil rights leader Jesse Jackson to be involved in the process, but Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos has rejected the idea, saying that his involvement would represent a publicity coup for the FARC.
The ICRC is also awaiting contact from Colombia’s second-largest rebel group ELN, who have expressed their desire to begin peace talks with the government. The ICRC acted as intermediaries in the August release of Canadian mining engineer Jernoc Wobert, which was listed by Santos as a precondition to the government entering peace talks with the ELN.
- Farc liberaron a un policía secuestrado en Nariño (Radio Santa Fe)
- ICRC press release