FARC promises to release police, military hostages
Colombian far-left organization says it will free 10 remaining prisoners
Colombia's largest left-wing rebel group, FARC has promised to free 10
remaining police and military hostages and end its practice of
'[The FARC] has taken a number of blows, including the killing of a number of irreplaceable leaders,' he said, noting that the group still counts at least 8,000 members spread across the South American nation.
Al Jazeera correspondent Toby Muse reported from Bogota that the kidnappings have been "nothing but a disaster for the FARC." The kidnappings have cost the group a lot of support from the population.
"You do see that the FARC seems to be clamoring for talks at this moment," Muse said.
"[The FARC] has taken a number of blows, including the killing of a number of irreplaceable leaders," he said, noting that the group still counts at least 8,000 members spread across the South American nation.
The promised releases could help advance negotiations to end the long civil conflict as the government says the group must free all the hostages it holds before talks can start. FARC did not say that it was abandoning hostilities.
The rebels announced on December 27 that they would free six of the captives. A month later, FARC said that they were delaying the release because of a government "militarization" of the area where it said release was planned.
Neither statement specified the location or set a date.
That announcement, also on the rebel Web site, prompted President Juan Manuel Santos to issue a tweet: "My God, no more tricks and deception. We don't even know where the hostages are. They haven't provided the co-ordinates. Free them now!"
Latin America's last major rebel movement, the FARC was founded in 1964. It has been releasing captives piecemeal since early 2008.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: FARC, Colombia, rebels, hostages
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