Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos has called for the timely release of French journalist Romeo Langlois, offering his captors “all facilities” necessary in a statement published on his official website Monday.
Santos spoke Sunday, the same day Colombia’s biggest rebel group the FARC admitted in a video statement to having Langlois, who it called a “prisoner of war.”
“The Colombian government is willing to provide all necessary facilities for the release to occur as soon as possible. But if they really want to make right with the world, and release him, just tell us where he is and we will come for him. It’s that simple,” Santos said as he arrived in Singapore on a state visit.
Langlois was captured by the FARC‘s 15th Front on April 28 while accompanying a Colombian military unit in southern Caqueta Department. He had been working on a documentary about antinarcotics operations for French news channel France 24 when the unit he was accompanying became involved in a firefight.
According to government figures, four soldiers were killed and eight injured in the incident which also left Langlois wounded in his left arm. The FARC claimed 17 soldiers died in the clash, as well as confirming that Langlois had received medical attention and was not in danger.
“I am pleased to know that the French journalist is in good condition,” Santos said.
“Journalists are not, never can be, and never have been prisoners of war and for that reason we hope he is released soon.” He added.
The FARC had claimed the journalist was a prisoner of war due to his wearing military protective equipment at the time of capture. Initial reports of the incident suggested Langlois removed his helmet and body armor, to reveal himself as a civilian, before approaching the rebel units.