Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said Monday that if guerrilla group the FARC want to make “humanitarian gestures” then they should free hostages, instead of giving false hope by releasing proof of life videos.
The president’s comments were in reaction to a 26 minute proof-of-life video showing five members of Colombia’s security forces who are being held captive by the FARC.
Uribe promised Johan Steven Martinez, the son of FARC captive Libio Martinez Estrada, that he would continue to fight for the captives’ liberty until the last day of his term.
Colombia’s Defense Minister Gabriel Silva said earlier Monday that the video’s release was “not a humanitarian act” but a politically motivated act that uses the captives as “political tools.”
The videos show testimonies of hostages Alvaro Jose Moreno, Libio Martinez Estrada, Edgar Yesid Duarte, Elkin Hernandez Rivas and Luis Alberto Erazo.
All of the hostages have been in FARC captivity for several years. One of the hostages in the video has been held by the rebels since 1997.
The FARC is currently holding 22 members of the Colombian armed forces hostage, and wants to swap them for hundreds of guerrillas held in Colombian and U.S. jails.