The International Committee of the Red Cross
(ICRC) said Sunday it has held talks with the Colombian government and
guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on the release
of six people in FARC captivity.
“As the ICRC can reach the sites most affected by the conflict, it requires
full respect to the emblem of the Red Cross by all the involved parties,” Red
Cross of Colombia spokesman Yves Heller said.
Earlier this year, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez helped negotiate the
release of some FARC hostages. But Bogota later became uneasy with what
officials saw as Chavez’s open sympathy for the leftist rebel group.
FARC has offered to release the six hostages including former state
governor Alan Jara, former local lawmaker Sigifredo Lopez, and three policemen
and a soldier, but want to hand them to opposition Colombian Senator Piedad
Córdoba, a Chávez ally.
Córdoba said Sunday that she was seeking renewed contact with FARC to set
the date and place for the release of the hostages.
FARC is Colombia’s largest guerilla group and holds about 28 high-profile
hostages, “exchangeable” for rebels in prisons. An estimated 700 people are
currently being held by the group. (Xinhua)