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Colombia: Soldier released

24-03-2006 News Release 06/26

Geneva (ICRC) – On 23 March 2006, Anderson Mauricio Zapata Rojas, soldier of the Nueva Granada artillery battalion of Barrancabermeja, who had been held by the National Liberation Army (ELN) since 25 February of this year, was handed over to representatives of the Programme for Development and Peace in Magdalena Medio and the Defensoría del Pueblo (Ombudsman's office), and to delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in a rural area of the Santa Rosa del Sur municipality (Bolívar Department).

At the time of his release, the soldier was in good health.

The ICRC welcomes the cooperation that made this operation possible and reiterates its readiness to support efforts to find mechanisms that will bring about the release of those hostages, members of the military and police officers who are still in the hands of organized armed groups.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Yves Heller, ICRC, Bogotá, tel.: +571 313 86 30 6 or + 57 311 491 07 89  

 Annick Bouvier, ICRC, Geneva, tel.: 41 22 730 24 58 6 or + 41 79 217 32 24