was totally impressed by Alan Jara’s appearance today when he
gave his press conference in Villavicencio, Meta. He had been held
hostage by the FARC for seven and a half years and he had been just
liberated. He hadn’t lost his sense of humor and he was
remembering each fellow hostage and his wife and children with whom
he had been in the jungle. A great sense of humanity as well. A great
tenderness, of this man who looked like a ghost. So thin, those eyes
which told so much of long sufferings.
said some important things. For example that the FARC are not as weak
as the government of Colombia says. They are weakened but not
finished, said the ex-governor of the Meta department, who was
kidnapped in July 2001. They will not like that in the Casa de
saw a lot of young guerrilleros, younger than 18. And he talked about
the lack of a life perspective that many youngsters in Colombia have.
That is why they join the guerrilla. And that keeps the FARC
stressed the urgency of a humanitarian agreement, in which hostages
are exchanged with guerrilleros in prison. Every moment in the jungle
can be your last one, he said. The Casa de Nariño will not
like that either.
challenged president Uribe saying that his policy of democratic
safety is very strong. Why can’t you come to a humanitarian
agreement then?” the former hostage said.
And he said
something very controversial: that both the FARC and president Uribe
have an interest to continue the war. It keeps them in a powerful
position. A commander had told him that he wanted mr. Uribe
reelected. That is how Lenin’s thesis that you need struggle to
make the revolution can be made reality, the commander had said.
combines humanity, wit and cleverness. Everybody’s eyes had
been fixed on the most famous hostage, Ingrid Betancourt, because she
had a lot of international exposure. But she lacks the integrity of
Jara and she is not as clever. He is an excellent candidate to run
for presidency in 2010.
Author Wies Ubags is a Dutch freelance journalist in Bogotá, works for media in her country and has her own weblog.