Colombia’s largest rebel group FARC is expected to release six hostages in January, said Carlos Lozano, director of a communist magazine and member of Piedad Cordoba’s organization Colombians for Peace Monday.
In an interview with TV station TeleSUR, Lozano recalled that the FARC Secretariat told human rights activist and former Colombian senator, Piedad Cordoba, they would uphold the word of their fallen commander, “Alfonso Cano,” in “the delivery of six members of the public force.”
“Although there is no official information on names, coordinates and places, nor a date in which these six people will be released … it can be established that [we] are waiting in the next few hours, in the coming days, [for] the response of the FARC to the letter from the group Women for Peace,” said TeleSur correspondent, Felipe Sinisterra Monday.
The international human rights group, Women Managers for Peace, of which Cordoba is a member, issued a statement yearning for a “political and negotiated solution to the Colombian conflict. Furthermore they seek to materialize a humanitarian agreement and ask [that] the National Government guarantee the secure release … without the intervention of armed forces.”
The armed forces did however intervene and the FARC executed four hostages during a botched rescue attempt on November 26, to the utter dismay of Cordoba who called the executions a “defeat of the government’s policy.”
After the military operation to rescue the killed hostages, the FARC issued this statement, “We will continue to explore with you all the ways that we can conduct this noble purpose and to [make it] concrete, under the new situation created, the unilateral release of the prisoners of war that we announced in an earlier letter, even though some of them fell in the senseless military rescue attempt,” reported La Patria Grande.
Although the FARC have expressed their willingness to negotiate and release the hostages, their website has not issued a formal confirmation of an upcoming release.
“Everything has been done through the so-called epistolary dialogue. I think we are waiting for a new letter from the guerrillas and are progressing into the field of the concrete, of the specifics,” said Lozano.
Since January 2008, the FARC have unilaterally released 14 hostages, including politicians, police officers and soldiers through Colombians for Peace, headed by Cordoba.
There are currently 11 uniformed men still detained at the hands of the FARC. Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos has said that their release is a condition for peace negotiations between rebels and government.