Jose Fidencio Martinez died after treatment for his condition for a year. His niece Fanny Martinez informed the press of his death.
“Up until the last moment he was saying that God willing the FARC would hand back his little son to be with him at that time,” Fanny said.
Sargent Martinez was kidnapped by the FARC on December 17, 1997, along with eighteen other soldiers in a guerrilla raid on a communications tower in Patascoy, Nariño. The FARC released his fellow captives Pablo Emilio Moncayo and Josue Daniel Calvo, as well as the body of Julian Ernesto Guevara who died in captivity, in March.
Moncayo his since fled the country after receiving death threats.
The FARC recently requested talks with regional body UNASUR but their petition was rejected. Colombia insists that the guerrilla organization negotiates directly with the government.
Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon said that the government will only consider negotiations if the FARC frees all hostages without condition, and ceases kidnapping, planting land mines, and the recruitment of children.