The first of five FARC hostage has been successfully rescued and is on his way to Villavicencio airport, peace advocate group Colombians for Peace announced.
Via a telephone interview, Baquero said, “the first words are for my wife and children who I love very much. Thank god I’m free.”
He added, “We have to continue working toward the liberation of the other hostages.”
Baquero’s immediate and extended family began arriving at Villavicieno airport at 11:15AM to celebrate his arrival.
Mediator Piedad Cordoba, members of her group Colombians for Peace, and Red Cross employees took off from Villavicieno at 8:40AM Wednesday morning after being delayed by two hours due to bad weather.
Wednesday’s operation is the first of three taking place this week with the other two are due to be carried out on Friday and Sunday. Two hostages are to be released on each day.
This particular operation was made possible by a government security protocol guaranteeing the suspension of military operations in the rescue area for 36 hours. The ceasefire began at 6:00PM local time on Tuesday.
A statement released last weekend by the New Colombia News Agency (Anncol) called on President Santos to “seize the opportunity” of the upcoming hostage release as a means to enter into peaceful dialogue with the FARC. The president however has maintained his stance on ceasing peace talks until all hostages are released by the FARC and terrorist activities halted reported, El Espectador Wednesday.
After the reunion with his family, Baquero will receive a medical check. Once the doctors authorize, he can return home to San Jose.