Geneva / Bogotá (ICRC) – A Dutch citizen who was captured last month by the National Liberation Army (ELN) was today handed over to a team made up of delegates from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and representatives of the Catholic Church. The handover took place in a rural part of Norte de Santander department, in north-eastern Colombia.
"We're delighted to have helped secure this person's freedom," said Christoph Harnisch, head of the ICRC delegation in Colombia. "As a neutral intermediary between all the parties to this conflict, the ICRC stands ready to lend its support to any such humanitarian operations that help to ease people's suffering."
In 2014, the ICRC helped to secure the release of 19 people held by armed groups, and of 25 in 2013. Since 1994, over 1,500 people have been freed in Colombia thanks to the ICRC's efforts as a neutral intermediary.
For further information, please contact:
Patricia Rey, ICRC Bogotá, tel: +57 311 491 07 89, @PReyCICR
Sandra Milena Rodríguez, ICRC Bogotá, tel: +57 311 491 07 75
Ewan Watson, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 33 45