The Colombian government is willing to accept a gradual release of
hostages held by the country’s largest rebel group FARC, sources close
to the Presidency told local media.
Bogota Wednesday announced its decision to allow opposition Senator Piedad Cordoba to be involved in the release of two hostages the rebels promised to liberate. The Government also said it would not object if the Senator is involved in the release of other political hostages currently in FARC custody.
The government always criticized the “drop by drop” releases by the FARC, claiming the rebels were trying to gain momentum and politican relevance by prolonging the release of all hostages. According to Bogota, Cordoba is an ally of the Marxist rebels.
The government’s change of heart is to break the deadlock on the release of Pablo Emilio Moncayo, who the FARC announced to release in April already after holding him in custody for eleven years.
Aside from Moncayo and soldier Jose Calvo Sanchez, the FARC have not announced any further liberations. Sanchez was kidnapped by guerrillas earlier this year.
The FARC admit to have some twenty members of the Armed Forces in custody. The rebels are also suspected to hold hundreds of civilians for extortion purposes to fund their operations.