Colombia’s Minister of Defense, Juan Manuel Santos, admitted Friday
that sending airplanes to patrol the sky above where the FARC was to
release four hostages was an error. According to several members of
mediating group ‘Colombians for Peace’ the “error” almost caused the
guerrillas to cancel the release.
In a statement released by the Defense Ministry Friday, the Minister said that the decision to let airplanes patrol the area was taken by Armed Forces commander General Freddy Padilla and was overruled during the hostage release operation by the Minister after he received a request by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to withdraw the airplanes.
The Minister considers the decision of Padilla “an error of good faith” and reiterated that the planes never flew under 20,000 feet, as per the agreement with the ICRC.