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Colombia: ELN frees Canadian citizen

27-08-2013 News Release 13/139

Bogotá/Geneva (ICRC) – At this moment, a helicopter of the ICRC is transporting Gernot Wober, a Canadian citizen who was held by the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) for over seven months and was freed today.

The ELN handed over Mr Wober in a rural area of Southern Bolivar to a team of humanitarian personnel that included ICRC delegates. At the request of the ELN, the team was accompanied by the archbishop of Cali and the Jesuit superior in Colombia.

"A doctor carried out a check-up on Mr Wober to evaluate his general state of health. We are happy he can soon meet his family again," said Jordi Raich, head of the ICRC delegation in Colombia. "The ICRC reiterates its continued willingness to offer its services as a neutral intermediary to facilitate the release of other persons being held by armed groups."

In 2013, the ICRC has facilitated the release of 15 people in Colombia who had been held by armed groups. Since 1994, it has served as a neutral intermediary in the release of over 1,500 people in the country.

For further information, please contact:
Erika Patricia Tovar, ICRC Bogotá, tel: +57 311 4910775
Alexis Heeb, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 218 76 10 or twitter: @AHeebICRC