The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Tuesday afternoon celebrated the successful release of former FARC hostage Pablo Emilio Moncayo, who was liberated after 12 years in captivity.
“We welcome back Sargent Moncayo. We are for your family. Colombia receives with open arms those who return from captivity and rejects in the strongest terms the kidnappers,” Uribe said.
Uribe thanked the ICRC, the Brazilian government and the Catholic Church for their contributions to the liberation operation. Release negotiator, Senator Piedad Cordoba was not mentioned.
The Colombian government has previously accused Cordoba of using the hostage negotiations for political gain.
ICRC spokesman Adolfo Beteta called the operation a success and said his organization was disposed to help with any other future liberation operation, including retrieving the remains of Colombian police officer Julian Ernesto Guevara, who died in FARC captivity in 2006.
Beteta said the ICRC was unsure when the Brazilian helicopter – transporting Moncayo, Cordoba, ICRC and Catholic Church representatives – would land at the Caqueta airport where Moncayo’s family anxiously awaits his arrival. He said that it would not arrive for at least another hour.