Brazilian helicopters in Colombia for FARC hostages

The FARC will release two of the 24 police and soldiers it holds to leftist Senator Piedad Cordoba and a Red Cross team.

Brazilian helicopters in Colombia for FARC hostages

Two Brazilian helicopters arrived in Colombia on Saturday in the first stage of a mission to pick up two hostage soldiers who FARC guerrillas plan to hand over next week.

The FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, will release two of the 24 police and soldiers it holds to leftist Senator Piedad Cordoba and a Red Cross team who will fly into the country's southern jungles on Sunday and again on Tuesday.

Pablo Emilio Moncayo, held for more than 12 years, and Josue Daniel Calvo were to be freed a year ago, but the handover was delayed as rebels and President Alvaro Uribe's government disagreed over conditions for their release.

"We'll set off around 7 a.m. tomorrow to the handover point," Cordoba told reporters.

Calvo is set to be released on Sunday and Moncayo on Tuesday.

The two helicopters arrived from Brazil to Villavicencio, 43 miles (70 km) south of Bogota. The army has suspended military operations in the area of the handover.

The FARC has released captives in the past, but talks to end Latin America's oldest-surviving insurgency have never been held with Uribe, whose U.S.-backed war has battered rebels to their weakest in decades.
 

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Mart 2010, 17:47

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