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Latino Daily News

Friday February 15, 2013

Latin America News: Colombian FARC Guerillas Release Kidnapped Police

Colombia’s FARC rebels on Friday released two police officers taken prisoner last month, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

The handover took place in a rural area of the southwestern province of Cauca and the former captives, Cristian Camilo Yate and Victor Alfonso Gonzalez, are “in good health,” the ICRC’s Bogota office said in a statement.

Members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, delivered the two officers to representatives of the ICRC and the organization Colombians for Peace.

The release was broadcast live on Venezuela-based cable network Telesur.

The leader of Colombians for Peace, former Sen. Piedad Cordoba, said during she and the rest of the humanitarian delegation would be leaving later Friday for the site where the FARC plans to hand over an army officer captured on Jan. 31.

Josue Meneses is expected to be freed on Saturday in Nariño province, Cordoba said.

Policeman Yate thanked Cordoba, the Red Cross and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for their efforts to secure his release.

The two police officers were supposed to be freed Thursday, but the FARC aborted the handover, complaining of too large a media presence near the designated site.

The Santos government and the FARC are currently engaged in talks aimed at ending Colombia’s decades-long internal conflict.