Colombian Vice-President Angelino Garzon has insisted that military rescue attempts of FARC hostages will continue, despite the deaths of four prisoners in an army operation Saturday.
Garzon said the government would continue to order military rescues whenever it saw the opportunity, as it is the state’s responsibility to protect its citizens from terrorism. But the door to peace remained open, said the minister.
Four members of Colombian security forces were murdered by the FARC on Saturday as the army approached their jungle hide-out in Curillo, a municipality in the southern Caqueta department.
At least ten hostages have been killed by the FARC during previous military rescue operations. Colombian peace groups and families of hostages have criticized the armed attempts to rescue captives and called for negotiated releases.
Before Saturday, the FARC held 21 members of Colombia’s security forces in captivity. The guerrilla group also holds civilians hostage for extortion purposes, but estimates on how many differ.