Former FARC hostage Sigifredo López was re-united with his family
Thursday near Cali after the guerrillas surrendered him to the
humanitarian commission in charge of the release of six hostages this
week. The former Valle del Cauca lawmaker had been held by the FARC for
nearly seven years.
The helicopter that had picked up López landed on an airport in Palmira, where the former lawmaker, accompanied by mediator Piedad Córdoba, was able to hug his family for the first time.
The former deputy of Valle de Cauca was taken hostage in 2002 together
with 11 of his colleagues when FARC guerrillas stormed the Department
Assembly in Cali and kidnapped the twelve
lawmakers. López is the only remaining deputy that was taken hostage.
According the FARC, the other eleven were killed in cross fire with the
army, but the Government accuses the rebels of having executed the
was the last civilian of a group of hostages the FARC want to exchange
for 500 guerrillas who currently are held in Colombian and U.S. jails.
The guerrillas are suspected of holding hostage some hundreds civilians
more for extortion purposes.
The FARC released six of these high-profile hostages this week — two politicians and four members of the security forces — as a sign of goodwill for ‘Colombians for Peace’ a group of intellectuals seeking a political solution to Colombia’s 44-year old violent conflict.
The Colombian government have been seemingly successful in their fight against the Marxist rebels, who are generally considered to be at their weakest since the beginning of their insurgency.