“I am not certain if they have him or not. I do not… There are indications but we are not certain whether the FARC have him,” Santos told journalists while visiting the north of the country.
“If the FARC have them, they should let him free,” Santos added.
The president rejected reported guerrilla claims that the FARC’s 15th front was holding Langlois as a prisoner of war, which according to the Third Geneva Convention is legal under certain conditions.
A credentialed, uniformed journalist legally becomes a part of the
military unit with whom he or she is traveling, according to the
Geneva Conventions of 1949. Embedded journalists may be fired upon
legally by opposing forces as part of the unit, and the individual
journalist may later be detained legally and held for the duration
of hostilities as a prisoner of war.
Committee to Protect Journalists
“This journalist was under no condition a fighter. Under no condition he may be considered a prisoner of war,” said Santos.
The French journalist disappeared on April 28 when the army battalion he was reporting on was attacked by FARC guerrillas. While the FARC’s high command has neither confirmed nor denied the captivity of Langlois, a Colombian journalist reported to have received a phone call from a woman who identified herself as a member of the guerrilla organization and said her front was holding the Frenchman as a prisoner of war.