The Colombian government and opposition senator Piedad Córdoba have not
yet set a date to discuss the expected release of six FARC hostages,
the government’s High Commissioner of Peace Luis Carlos Restrepo said
According to Restrepo, the “Communication channels are open”, but there has not been a specific time or date for the Liberal Party senator and members of the government to discuss the release of the hostages.
Piedad Córdoba heads 150 prominent Colombians who began a dialogue with the FARC about a possible political solution to the country’s 44-year old conflict. The government of President Álvaro Uribe has always kept a hard line against the Marxist rebels and has been successful in militarily pushing the rebels in the defense.
The FARC announced to unilaterally release the two politicians and four members of the security forces as a sign of good will to the group seeking a political solution.
The government says it doesn’t want the release of the hostages to turn into a “show” that could politically favor the FARC or undermine the government policy to not allow any foreign mediation or intervention in Colombia’s conflict.
Córdoba and relatives of the six to be released hostages want the government to allow international delegates to monitor the release, but the government continues to refuse. “We must preserve these international relations that in the past have generated international difficulties well known to all (…) that is why we insist that the body prepared to advance this task is the International Committee of the Red Cross,” Restrepo said.
According to the Red Cross, the FARC says it will liberate the hostages in two stages at the beginning of next year. The four members of the security forces will be released first, followed later by the two politicians.