Reference : V-P-CO-E-02327
Date : 01/04/2012
Country/Region : COLOMBIA
Caption : Villavicencio, airport. Release of four soldiers and six police officers held by the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC-EP).
Photographer : HEGER, Boris
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : Brazilian army's crew personnel talk in front of one of their helicopters with a delegate from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), after they landed at the airport.
Military helicopters provided by the Brazilian government and identified with ICRC logo just landed at Villavicencio airport, carrying the humanitarian commission for the release of 10 militaries and policemen held by the FARC-EP, some for more than 14 years. The release operation should start on Monday, April 2nd, 2012. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is facilitating contacts and logistics after agreement between the parties involved.

ICRC website, 02-04-2012 News Release

Villavicencio / Bogotá (ICRC) – In the last few hours, in a rural area on the border between Meta and Guaviare departments, the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC-EP) released four soldiers and six police officers – all those whose release had been announced by the armed group in December and January.

They were handed over to a team made up of members of Colombians for Peace and delegates from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

"We're overjoyed that in just one day this operation will successfully reunite 10 families, putting an end to their agonizing wait," said Jordi Raich, head of the ICRC delegation in Colombia. "The relief of these families is a source of great satisfaction to us."

The freed members of the police and armed forces are currently on board a helicopter supplied by the Brazilian government and duly bearing the red cross emblem. They are being flown to the city of Villavicencio, from where they will subsequently be taken to Bogotá in a government plane.

The members of the armed forces, all first sergeants, are Luis Alfredo Moreno Chagueza and Robinson Salcedo Guarín, captured during the taking of Miraflores, Guaviare, in 1998, and Luis Arturo Arcia and Luis Alfonso Beltrán Franco, captured during the taking of Billar, Caquetá, in 1998. The members of the police forces are José Libardo Forero, a first sergeant; Carlos José Duarte, Wilson Rojas Medina, Jorge Humberto Romero and Jorge Trujillo Solarte, superintendents captured during the taking of Puerto Rico Meta in 1999; and César Augusto Lasso Monsalve, a sergeant major captured in 1998 following the taking of Mitú.

The ICRC is grateful to the Brazilian government for supplying the aircraft and crew that made this operation possible, and to the Colombian government and the FARC-EP for their cooperation. The ICRC also extends its thanks to Colombians for Peace and to the Colombian Red Cross for their support at Villavicencio airport.

In its capacity as an impartial, neutral and independent humanitarian organization, the ICRC reiterates its willingness to facilitate the release of others held by armed groups.
Original material : digital
Resolution : 5616x3744
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour