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FARC-EP released ten people with the help of the ICRC

03-04-2012 News Footage

THE FARC-EP released a group of ten police officers and Colombian military personnel who were held for around 14 years. The ICRC facilitated this operation thanks to its role as a neutral intermediary and the acceptance of the parties involved. Brazilian Army helicopters were used in this release operation. Thomas Ess, the ICRC delegate who went to the area to meet the released, said the next at Villavicencio airport.

Story
The FARC-EP released a group of ten police officers and Colombian military personnel who were held for around 14 years. The ICRC facilitated this operation thanks to its role as a neutral intermediary and the acceptance of the parties involved. Brazilian Army helicopters were used in this release operation. Thomas Ess, the ICRC delegate who went to the area to meet the released, said the next at Villavicencio airport.

 

00.00
We had no ground contact when we were looking for the landing place so we were circling around for a certain time until somebody came out and said « hey, hey » - well that’s what we thought was the place, so we landed there. There were just a few combatants around, they said ok, « paciencia » let’s wait, and they said, ok very soon, we will serve you lunch, i twill take 40 minutes, and the 40 minutes turned out to be 2 hours so we wait for 2 hours

00.35
We really approached the deadline we had established to take off at latest, and finally after half an hour – we really had to take off, because of meteorolical constraint, they first of all – the combatants were coming in a boat and then the first 10 soldiers and policemen arrived. And first it was pure happiness, greetings, laughings, we were handling them the pictures of their family members, and I mean, it was an incredible moment, because they – I think it was the first time that they really touching freedom.

01.24
I think only future will show how they will cope with that situation and for sure this will not be a process of a few days, after such a long time out there in the jungle.

01.36
They are free, but this is just the beginning of another chapter and may be a difficult one and painful one which will be a full process

01.48
And they must really be integrated into life, brought together with their families, I mean, 12-14 years… many things have changed in their private life

02.01
So, we are very much interested in that process and we will also be next to the authorities to see if this process is really managed in a satisfactory way

02.13
It’s our traditional mandate and we benefit from an extraordinary acceptance here in Colombia from all parties involved and to play the role as neutral intermediary – and so was the case in that situation, we have been approached by the Government and by the FARC to facilitate that release operation of the 10 people.

For further information, please contact:
María Cristina Rivera, ICRC Bogotá, tel. +57 311 4910775
Steven Anderson, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 2011 or +41 79 536 92


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  • Copyright: ICRC access all
  • Release year: 2012
  • Production locations: Villavicencio, Colombia
  • Running time: 2'40 min
  • Languages available: English, Spanish

Format: Mpeg2 / 16:9 anamorphic / HD

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