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Colombia: ICRC facilitates release of police officer

23-01-2012 News Release 12/16

Bogotá (ICRC) – Police officer Harrison Estiven Giraldo was released today by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) into the care of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The handover took place in the town of La Romelia in the El Tambo municipality of Cauca department, in the presence of Officer Giraldo's family.

The ICRC escorted Officer Giraldo by road to the city of Popayán, where he was restored to the police force and underwent a medical check-up.

"We are delighted at his release and remain willing and ready to facilitate the release of other individuals being held by armed groups," said Thomas Ess, deputy head of the ICRC delegation in Colombia.

Officer Harrison Estiven Giraldo was captured last weekend following fighting in the Santa Ana hills in El Tambo. Both the FARC and his family asked the ICRC to assist in the handover.  

The ICRC has been participating in this kind of humanitarian operation in Colombia for over a decade, thanks to the confidential dialogue that the organization maintains with all the parties to the conflict, and to its acceptance and recognition as a neutral intermediary.

For further information, please contact:
María Cristina Rivera, ICRC Bogotá, tel. +57 311 4910775