After a two hour delay due to weather conditions, the Brazilian helicopter that will pick up soon to be released FARC hostage Pablo Emilio Moncayo, has been given the green light to take off from the south Colombian department of Caqueta.
Release coordinator Piedad Cordoba signaled via twitter that the helicopter had been cleared to take off. The Colombian senator is aboard the helicopter that will pick up Moncayo from an undisclosed location in the jungle. Representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Catholic Church and Brazilian pilots are also aboard.
Moncayo’s family anxiously await his release on the ground. Assuming the operation goes off without a hitch, Moncayo will meet his younger sister for the first time, as she was born during his 12 years in captivity.
Moncayo, a Colombian soldier, was 18 when he was kidnapped by the FARC. He is now 31.
The FARC first announced they would release Moncayo and fellow captive and soldier Josue Daniel Calvo in April 2009. Negotiations between the guerrilla organization and the Colombian government stalled for almost a year. Calvo was liberated last Sunday.
Despite being shot five times and surviving two bouts of malariaand one of leishmaniasis during his time in a FARC jungle prison, 22 year old Calvo is in good health and recuperating with his family.
Piedad Cordoba received criticism from Colombian peace commissioner Frank Pearl for her tweets on the liberation operation. “This is not a circus,” Pearl said.
In response Cordoba tweeted that Pearl’s concerns had made her laugh because tweeting from the jungle would be “impossible”.
For a live footage of the liberation operation unfolding, click here.
Developing story. Expect more.