President Uribe’s order on Tuesday to rescue a governor kidnapped by the FARC on Monday could jeopardize the liberation of two other hostages which has been planned for months.
Uribe also ordered the rescue of the rest of the hostages held by the guerrillas which could complicate the planned liberation of two kidnapped soldiers which has been in the pipeline for months, reported Colombian media Tuesday.
“We can no longer hang on the whims of terrorists. It is time to take firm action to advance the military rescue of the hostages,” Uribe said in a brief statement to reporters from the Casa de Nariño.
Cuellar was kindnapped from his home in the capital of the southern department of Caqueta on Monday night by several men who threw grenades at the house while the family slept.
Although no group has yet claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, local authorities and the Government assume that the perpetrators are members of the FARC.
If it is confirmed that the FARC are responsible for this kidnapping, Cuellar will become the first high-level politician to be abducted by the armed group in Colombia since Uribe took office in August 2002.
Uribe reiterated today that he had done everything demanded by the FARC and that as a result he no longer believe in the promises of “these bandits” and announced his decision to order the military rescue of the hostages.
Meanwhile, the father of Pablo Emilio Moncayo (one of the two hostages whose release has been pending for several months) stated that with such declarations the president continues to impede the liberation of his son.
Having announced a reward of 1,000 million pesos (US$500,000) for information regarding the abduction of Cuellar, Defense Minister Gabriel Silva explained that the military and police currently tracking the Florencia area found an abandoned truck which they believe was used by the kidnappers.
Liberal Senator Piedad Cordoba (who has been involved in release negotiations for Moncayo and his fellow hostage Josue Daniel Calvo) responded to Uribe’s order by asking that the liberation agreement of the Moncayo and Calvo be maintained.
Cordoba expressed her “hopes that things do not continue to thwart the liberation process” of the two hostages, whose release has been a long time coming.