Colombian opposition Senator and mediator Piedad Cordoba said the FARC
want to involve the U.S. in hostage negotiations. The Senator proposed the
creation of a neutral zone in Brazil where such negotiations could take
is the leader of ‘Colombians for Peace’, is currently negotiating the release of soldier Pablo Emilio Moncayo, who is a FARC hostage.
She said that due to the change of government in the U.S, “the FARC want to include representatives from that country in possible negotiations with the national government”. She also said that the FARC had requested the presence of U.S. congressmen in previous negotiations.
The Senator said that ‘Colombians for Peace’ would request U.S. assistance in the release of Moncayo, as well as in the process of prisoner exchanges.
She proposed the idea of a neutral zone in Brazil in an interview with Brazilian newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo.
Cordoba met with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva last Wednesday to discuss
Brazil’s participation in Moncayo’s release. Brazil provided logistical help for a hostage release last February.
Cordoba said she had again requested the help of Brazilian helicopters and soldiers, as well as a guarantee of confidentiality of any classified information.
She said that help from Brazil depended on cooperation from the Colombian government, which must authorize the operation and guarantee that there will be no military operations in the liberation zone. The operation already has the support of the International Red Cross and the Catholic Church.
The mediator said she hoped the operation would occur in the next few days and that it would be “a repeat of the successful operation last February”.