BOGOTA, KOMPAS.com - Colombian leftist guerrillas, better known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) freed 10 prisoners they had captured in over a dozen years, Monday (04/02/2012).
FARC release 10 people consisting of four soldiers and six police officers. They say, the tenth person was last prisoners of the government apparatus.
The ten former hostages arrived in the city Villavincencio, transported by helicopter from the Brazilian Air Force. Once down to the ground, they went directly to the families they had left over the years.
"Welcome to the freedom," said Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in a speech to welcome the freedom of the hostages on Monday night.
Santos welcomed the freedom of calling it a right step. Nevertheless, Santos said the move was not enough and he demanded the FARC to release all hostages.
Until now hundreds of civilians remains a prisoner of the FARC guerrillas throughout Colombia, according to the nonprofit Free Country Foundation.
In February, the FARC announced it would release 10 hostages and said it would stop civilians for ransom money. But they did not say would stop kidnapping for political reasons.
"It is not enough to stop the abduction. They also had to release the civilians they are still captive," said Santos.
Kidnap government officials and civilians, a rebel group's key strategy in their war against the Colombian government.
The bad conditions in captivity in the jungle, it was revealed from the operation of the release of the hostages who managed to escape. There are a number of hostages chained to a tree or forced to run while moving hiding places. They also have to deal with bad weather as the sun is very hot or vice versa, heavy downpours.
One of the most famous hostage Ingrid Betancourt, kidnapped in 2002 while campaigning for her candidacy for president. She was freed in a rescue mission in 2008.
In operation, Colombian commandos disguised as a social worker to free a group of prisoners consisting of three U.S. military contractors and 11 Colombian policemen and soldiers.