Numerous countries and international organizations have demanded the release of recently missing French journalist Romeo Langlois, believed to have been captured by Colombian rebels.
According to AFP news agency, Langlois was embedded with some 30 Colombian soldiers when the group was attacked by an estimated 200 members of Colombia’s largest insurgency group, the FARC. It is assumed Langlois was taken hostage by the FARC.
In a press release, the United Nations [UN] demanded the “immediate and unconditional, “release of Langlois by the FARC. UN official Todd Howland said, “Journalists, despite the risks inherent to their work, are people whose human rights must be respected.”
Similar to their role in the release of ten FARC-held hostages last month, Brazil and the International Red Cross have offered to aid the journalist’s release.
At Union of South American Nations security conference in Cartagena, Brazil’s Defense Minister Celso Amorim offered his country’s support, saying, “If the FARC has [Langlois], they must free him.”
Colombian officials have been quick to point out the FARC’s previous promise to discontinue kidnapping, and demand the journalist’s release. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said, “The whole world and Colombia will be watching whether the FARC complies with its word.”
The insurgent group has yet to confirm Langlois’ capture. Colombian military officials said they doubted the authenticity of a message by a supposed FARC rebel claiming to have Langlois in custody.
The attack, in which Langlois was assumed captured, took place April 28 in Colombia’s southwestern Caqueta department. Reports agree that Langlois was wearing a bullet proof vest and was wounded in the arm, but disagree on whether Langlois wore a military uniform.
A spokesperson for the French embassy in Bogota told local media the embassy was “fully mobilized” and in “permanent” contact with local authorities. The spokesperson also said situation required the “utmost discretion.”