Former Presidential Candidate Ingrid Betancourt, the three US contractors and 11 high ranking Colombian military officials have been freed from captivity by the armed forces in the eastern Colombian jungles.
Those free today
- Keith Stansell
- Thomas Howen
- Mark Gonzalve
- Ingrid Betancourt
- Teniente Juan Carlos Bermeo
- Subteniente Raimundo Malagón
- Sargento Segundo José Ricardo Marulanda
- Cabo Primero William Pérez
- Sargento Segundo Erasmo Romero
- Cabo Primero José Miguel Arteaga
- Cabo Primero Armando Flórez
- Cabo Primero Julio Buitrago
- Subteniente Armando Castellanos
- Subteniente Vianey Rodríguez
- Cabo Primero Jhon Jairo Durán
Apparently the liberation came about thanks to the work of an operative who had infiltrated the FARC and managed to persuade his companions that they were to march the hostages off to a helicopter rendez vous to meet the new leader of the FARC Alfonso Cano. In fact the helicopter in question was a military vehicle painted to resemble that of an NGO – albeit a fictitious NGO. The helicopter then flew the hostages to freedom. As far as we know there was no loss of life in Operacion Jaque.
What has happened is the news story of the year here in Colombia, some of the hostages have been in captivity for 10 years. that is 10 years of forced marches and jungle illnesses. 10 years away from your family and loved ones.
The FARC are down but not yet out. Colombia waits, jubilant for the timebeing for we are at the crossroads of history.
Lets get the remaining 600(?) out of those jungles and back to their families…