Opposition senator and mediator Piedad Córdoba had proposed the congressman, after the government’s proposal to allow the Vatican to bring forth a guarantor was considered impossible by several parties and reportedly turned down by the FARC itself.
Colombian Bishop Ruben Salazar responded that the Church would not take part in the process, because of its bad relations with the FARC. “They do not welcome the intervention of the Catholic Church. I don’t
know what the role of the Church could be in this task of liberation,”
The presence of a foreign observer was one of the FARC’s demands for the release of four members of the security forces and two politicians. The government has rejected any foreign interference concerning guerrilla matters since July 2008.
The Government, despite the withdrawal of the church, sticks to its authorization of the Vatican, bringing the liberation process to a complete standstill and sending Córdoba back to mediating who could be the foreign guarantor.
Relatives of the hostages are disappointed of the government’s refusal to allow the U.S. congressman.
“I believe the most viable option would have been that the government accepted the congressman, but as I see it the government wants our children to rot in the mountains,” the father of one of the soldiers told Caracol Radio.
Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos blames the guerrillas for the delay and says they are cheating the Colombian people. “The rebels did and do not show signs they really will do what they promised,” Santos told newspaper El Espectador Wednesday.
The FARC promised in December to release the six hostages. The demand of the FARC to involve a foreign observer and the government’s refusal to allow any foreign interference has stalled the release for more than two weeks already.