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Colombia: the FARC hand over a member of the police force

13-02-2011 News Release 11/31

Bogotá (ICRC) – On 13 February, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) released Carlos Alberto Ocampo, a member of the police force, in a rural area of Tolima department.

He was handed over to former Colombian senator Piedad Córdoba, ICRC delegates and a member of Colombians for Peace after spending a month and a half in the hands of the FARC.

Unfortunately, the planned handover of Guillermo Solórzano, a police officer and Salín Antonio Sanmiguel Valderrama, an army officer, did not prove possible during this operation. "This is a very difficult time for their families who were waiting for their loved ones. We hope that this humanitarian mission can be completed successfully in the near future, in order that they can be reunited", said Christophe Beney, head of the ICRC delegation in Colombia.

This handover brings the number of persons freed by the FARC to four in one week. On Wednesday, Marcos Baquero, a municipal councillor was handed over to the same team and on Friday, it was the turn of Armando Acuña, another municipal councillor and Henry López MartÍnez, a naval seaman.

The ICRC thanks the government of Brazil for its logistical support and the government of Columbia, Piedad Córdoba and the FARC for their assistance in carrying out these humanitarian operations.   

As an impartial, neutral and independent humanitarian organization, the ICRC stands ready to facilitate the release of other people being held by armed groups, either by means of the arrangements used in the last few days, or by any other means of transport with the support of its network of field delegates.

For further information, plese contact:
María Cristina Rivera, ICRC (in Spanish) tel.: +57 311 491 07 75
Sandra Lefcovich, ICRC (in Portuguese) tel.: +55 61 81220119 or +57 310 764 94 03
Pascal Jequier, Bogotá, ICRC (in French or English) tel.: +571 313 86 30 or +57 311 491 07 89