Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva said the government has little confidence in FARC statements about further hostage releases, which he sees as giving false hope to the families of the victims, reports Caracol Radio.
Silva was referring to negotiations which have reportedly begun between the FARC and the “Colombians for Peace” group, which includes prominent members of the church, such as Archbishop Leonardo Gomez, and is led by Senator Piedad Cordoba.
“What hurts us most is that it is another example of the FARC giving false hopes to families,” Silva said. “We demand again that our men be released without condition, that is the real humanitarian gesture, the rest is complete nonsense.”
Silva said that it was a disgrace that the guerrilla group was taking advantage of the good will of the Colombian church, and added that the armed forces would continue to work for the release of all hostages still held captive.
Between seventeen and nineteen members of Colombia’s armed forces remain in FARC captivity. In mid June the Colombian armed forces rescued four FARC hostages who had been in captivity for almost twelve years, in a mission titled “Operation Chameleon.”
The defense minister was speaking during an official visit by air force commanders from Chile, Peru and the Dominican Republic, which aims to strengthen ties and deal with common issues such as drug trafficking.