Professor Gustavo Moncayo, father of freed FARC hostage Sergeant Pablo Emilio Moncayo, said Wednesday that he and his son plan to visit Venezuela, Ecuador and Brazil to thank those countries’ Presidents for their help in securing the sergeant’s release.
“We are going to travel to meet [Venezuelan President] Chavez, [Brazilian President] Lula, [Ecuadorean President] Correa and we’ll see if we have the resources to go to Europe,” Professor Moncayo told media.
Noticeably absent from the Moncayo’s “tour of gratitude” is Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.
When asked why Uribe was not included in the Moncayo family’s thanks, Professor Moncayo said, ” We don’t want to tarnish this joy, if we visit X or Y, we don’t want to hurt anyone. Today we are happy.”
In his first public address following his liberation from FARC captivity Tuesday, Moncayo gave his thanks to those who had assisted in securing his release. While the presidents of Ecuador, Brazil and Venezuela were included in his thanks, Colombia’s Uribe was not.
Moncayo enjoyed his first day of freedom Wednesday in Colombia’s capital city of Bogota, after doctors gave him a clean bill of health.
Professor Moncayo revealed that Pablo Emilio had written a poem for his younger sister Laura Valentina – whom he had never met as she was born during his captivity – during his time as a hostage in the Colombia jungle and she had become his inspiration to survive his ordeal.
Moncayo’s father announced Tuesday night that the family are considering leaving Colombia so that his son can leave this “bad dream” behind him.
Moncayo was liberated by the FARC and reunited with his family Tuesday, after 12 years in captivity.
31 year old Moncayo was kidnapped on December 21, 1997, after FARC guerrillas stormed the Nariño army base where he and 33 other soldiers were located.
The FARC first announced that they would release Moncayo in April 2009 but his liberation took almost a year, because the Colombian government and the guerrilla organization could not agree on the terms of the liberation.
The FARC have announced that Moncayo’s was their last hostage release, and from now on they will only participate in humanitarian exchanges of FARC hostages for guerrillas incarcerated in both Colombia and the U.S.
Fellow FARC captive and soldier Josue Daniel Calvo was liberated ahead of Moncayo last Sunday.