A 32-year-old Colombian woman exchanged herself for her ill husband, who was kidnapped by a guerrilla group in mid-August in the jungles of Choco province, which borders on Panama, it was reported Sunday.
Manuel Montes Echavarria, 43, told the program “Voces del Secuestro” on Caracol Radio that his wife, Nohora Isabel Precigas, took his place with the guerrillas three days to save his life, given that he has serious health problems requiring medical attention.
The former hostage said that when the exchange occurred he was not allowed to see his wife.
According to Montes, he was kidnapped on Aug. 18 as he was traveling by boat on the Atrato River near Quidbo, the capital of Choco, by a guerrilla group whose name he did not provide.
In a halting voice, Montes said that “it’s a very great sorrow. I don’t have the words to explain ... what is happening to us.”
Montes asked Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to “make the peace negotiation” with those who are at the margins of the law and “bring that peace that we all need.”
The former hostage said that during his captivity the guerrillas gave him medicines to treat his health problems.
He added that since his release last Thursday, he and his family have been unable to sleep because of worry over Nohora.
“Here we all are, we’ve been on a vigil for two days,” Montes said, adding that his 4-year-old son does not know what has happened to his mother.
He said that during his captivity he was unable to listen to any of the messages his wife sent him, expressed hope that she would be released before the end of the year and said he would like to send her a “message of encouragement, of strength.”
He also said that another man named Patrocinio Sanchez had been kidnapped about the same time in the same part of the country as he, but “nothing is known about him.”