Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, speaking before Colombian television
Tuesday after meeting with former hostage Alan Jara, reiterated the
government’s conviction to fight terrorism, but did say the Government
was open to peace talks with the FARC if they were serious.
Uribe, for the first time, thanked opposition Senator Piedad Córdoba for her work as mediator that has led to the release of five hostages so far this week. One more hostage is expected to be released Wednesday. The President also said he would call Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for the Brazilian helicopters and crew used in the operation.
Uribe also criticized two Colombian journalists — one was part of the first hostage release mission and the other was found with the FARC when the mission came to pick up four hostages Sunday — for allegedly helping the FARC.
The President, who had been fiercely criticized by Jara just after the former governor’s release, defended his Democratic Security policy and reiterated that the country’s hostages is one of the Government’s high priorities. Jara had accused Uribe of not having done anything for hostages to be released.
The President said the Government was willing to talk peace with the FARC, but only if the guerrillas are serious.