FARC guerrillas released two civilian helicopter pilots they were holding hostage to members of the International Committee of the Red Cross Sunday.
The pilots, who were kidnapped July 10, were taken to the city of Popayan, 650 kilometers (404 miles) southwest of Bogota, where they will meet with relatives, the ICRC said in a statement.
“We are pleased to have been able to make it possible for these people to be back with their loved ones,” said Jordi Raich, the ICRC’s representative in Colombia.
The pilots, identified as Juan Carlos Alvarez and Alejandro de Jesus Ocampo, were handed over to representatives of the ICRC and a local human rights non-governmental organization in a remote area in the jungle-covered Cauca province, the ICRC said.
On July 25, FARC guerrillas issued a statement asking for ICRC and the NGO representatives to act as intermediaries so they could release the pilots.
The rebels captured the pilots when their helicopter made an emergency landing in a football field in the village of El Plateado, in the municipality of Argelia, in Cauca province.
The rebels charged that the helicopter had been flying surveillance over a local area from the towns of Argelia, to Guapi and Timbiqui in Cauca — for over two months.
Founded in 1964, the FARC is the oldest and largest leftist guerrilla group in the country with some 9,200 fighters.