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FARC statement on release of prisoners

by staff |
January 17, 2008
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Due to the great interest in the release of several detainees by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Colombia’s largest rebel group, Fight Back! is circulating the following FARC statement.

FARC Communiqué in Regards to the Liberation of Clara and Consuelo

January 10 of 2008

1. Honoring our word and commitment, today the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia FARC, hand over Clara Rojas and Consuelo González de Perdomo to the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, to Senator Piedad Cordova and the international community. If the boy Emmanuel is not in the arms of his mother, it is because President Uribe Vélez has sequestered him in Bogotá. Let him free so that we can all celebrate this event.

2. This humanitarian and unilateral liberation is possible despite the hindrance presented by President Uribe himself, a sworn enemy of the exchange of prisoners and enemy of peace with social justice, as he follows the ideological guidelines of Washington. Raising above the intense military operations of the Patriotic Plan, the seizure of the proofs of life, the capture of the humanitarian messengers who carried them, the sequestering of little Emmanuel in Bogotá, and the absurd intention to exclude the international humanitarian commission from the facilitation, we have taken this first encouraging step that invites to think about the possibility of peace in Colombia.

3. The efforts must now be directed at obtaining the military clearing of Pradera and Florida as the stage for the dialogue government-FARC for the agreement and the materialization of the exchange to make possible the liberation of all the prisoners in control of the contending forces, of those captives in the mountain and the imprisoned guerrillas in the jails of the regime, including Sonia and Simón. Our will is unquestionable. Let's not forget that in the recent past we unilaterally released 304 military and police officers, captured in combat. The handover of Clara and Consuelo we carry out today reaffirms our disposition.

4. The fact is that we are a belligerent force awaiting recognition by the governments of the world. This step would smooth the winding path of the Colombia people in their search for peace. Ours is a legitimate struggle. It is upheld by the universal right that all the peoples of the world have to raise against oppression. Our father, the Liberator Simón Bolivar teaches us that, when power is oppressive, virtue has the right to overwhelm it, and that the virtuous man rises against the oppressive and unbearable authority to replace it with a kind and respected one. And this is, indeed, the FARC's endeavor.

5. President Chávez, thank you very much. The world does not doubt that your immense heart beats sincerely for the peace of Colombia and the redemption of the peoples. We also thank the governments and personalities of the world who have surrounded him without reservations in this noble effort. And our special thanks to the brave people of Venezuela for their support and brotherhood. To the relatives of the prisoners and the friends of the humanitarian exchange our call to persist. We will obtain the exchange.

Secretariat, Central High Command of the FARC
Mountains of Colombia, January 10 of 2008