The operation to release five of ten hostages guerrilla group FARC promised to release has been delayed because of rain. The helicopter that will pick up the captive members of the security forces will not be able to take off until skies are clear.
Former Senator Piedad Cordoba, leader of the mediators, confirmed she had received the exact coordinates of the location where the FARC will release their hostages but that the planned 8AM take-off was delayed because it had begun raining just before the operation was supposed to begin.
While the FARC released the identity of all ten hostages to be released on Monday and Wednesday weeks ago already, it is unknown which of them will be released during the first leg.
The Red Cross announced it will immediately notify the press once the hostages are released.
Leading up to the operation, the Colombian military last night suspended all operations in the area around Mapiripan, Meta where the hostages will be surrendered. On Tuesday evening, the army will suspend all operations in a still undisclosed area where the second operation is due to take place.
Following their release, the hostages will be flown back to Villavicencio. After that they’re expected to meet the press in Bogota‘s military airport Catam.
The release of the last political hostages of the FARC is a milestone in Colombia’s armed conflict that has been ongoing since the late 1940s when the country’s two political parties, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party, violently attempted to take control of the country.
The Colombian government of President Juan Manuel Santos has always demanded the release of the hostages as a condition to start peace talks with the guerrillas who have been fighting the state since 1964. While Santos has applauded the FARC’s announcement in January to release the hostages and ban the practice of kidnapping civilians for extortion purposes, the President demanded more concessions of the guerrillas before agreeing to talk.