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Colombia: ICRC facilitates release of local politician

09-02-2011 News Release 11/28

Bogotá (ICRC) – On the afternoon of 9 February, Marcos Baquero, a member of the municipal council of San José de Guaviare, was released by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and handed over to former Colombian senator Piedad Córdoba, delegates from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and a member of Colombians for Peace.

The handover took place in a rural area of Meta department.

Marcos Baquero was subsequently transferred to the city of Villavicencio in a helicopter bearing the red cross emblem, provided by the government of Brazil. There, he was reunited with his family, after one year and seven months apart.

The ICRC thanks the government of Brazil for its logistical support, and the government of Colombia, Piedad Córdoba and the FARC for their assistance in carrying out this humanitarian operation.

A second operation is planned for 11 February in Caquetá department, during which it is hoped that Armando Acuña, a member of the municipal council of Garzón, and Henry López Martínez, a naval seaman, will be released. Salín Antonio Sanmiguel Valderrama, an army corporal, and Guillermo Solórzano, a police officer, are due to be released in a third operation scheduled for 13 February in Tolima department.

As an impartial, neutral and independent humanitarian organization, the ICRC stands ready to facilitate the release of other people in the hands of armed groups.

For further information, please contact:
María Cristina Rivera, ICRC (in Spanish), tel: +57 311 491 07 75
Sandra Lefcovich, ICRC (in Portuguese), tel: + 55 61 81 22 01 19  or + 57 310 764 94 03
Pascal Jequier, Bogotá, ICRC (in French and in English), + 57 1 313 86 30 or + 57 311 491 07 89



Marcos Baquero embraces his wife upon his arrival at the Villavicencio airport.
© Reuters / J. Gomez