The French-Colombian hostage, the three Americans and eleven members of Colombia’s security forces were rescued during military operation “Jaque” in the jungle of the Guaviare department, approximately 350 mile (560 km) south east of Bogotá, Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said during a press conference.
According to Santos, intelligence forces were able to infiltrate both the FARC secretariat and the FARC’s first front, responsible for the care of the high profile hostages. The first front, under the command of ‘mono Jojoy’, was ordered to hand over the hostages to ‘Alfonso Cano’, the number one of the FARC secretariat.The helicopter supposedly transferring the hostages to ‘Cano’ was under control of military intelligence personnel, flying the hostages to freedom, Santos said.According to the Defense Minister, the armed forced arrested two guerrillas in the operation, one of them being ‘César’, the right hand of FARC-veteran and member of the secretariat, ‘Mono Jojoy’. According to Betancourt, “no shot was fired”.Betancourt was held hostage by Colombia’s leftist rebels for over six years. Keith Stansel, Marc Gonsalves and Thomas Howes, three U.S. military contract workers, were held captive since March 2003.