Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said Wednesday that his country
is still trying to rescue hostages being held by the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) as bargaining chips in attempt to
bring about the release of jailed FARC rebels.
"Colombia wants to seek mechanisms to rescue the hostages, and
we need the international community's help to do that," Uribe said
in a public speech.
Uribe, who had previously indicated that 2007 would be the year
of armed rescues, recently barred his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo
Chavez from mediating in hostage negotiations with FARC.
Uribe hopes FARC will free some hostages or show that they are
FARC, the largest rebel group in Colombia, is fighting Uribe's
"democratic security policy" that seeks to re-establish internal
order and protect civilians from illegal armed groups.
FARC still has at least 50 "interchangeable" prisoners,
including dozens of Colombians, three U.S. citizens and the
French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, who has been held
since 2002. The rebel group promised to hand over evidence by
December showing that the prisoners are still alive.
FARC is also seeking the release of Omaira Rojas Cabrera and
Juvenal Ovidio Ricardo Palmera Pineda, who are known by their
aliases Sonia and Simon Trinidad and currently held by the United
(Xinhua News Agency November 29, 2007)