FARC delays hostage release

Story highlights

  • The FARC had announced the release of six hostages
  • It accuses the government of militarization and cancels the release
Colombian guerrillas have postponed the release of six hostages because of alleged militarization in the area where they operate, the group said Wednesday.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, are the nation's main leftist rebel group. In a statement, they accused the government of President Juan Manuel Santos of plotting a military rescue of the hostages despite plans for a unilateral release.
"The area we had chosen for the release of the prisoners... has been unjustifiably militarized by the Colombian government, which forces us to delay it," the statement said.
According to the FARC, military sources tipped them off that the Santos government wanted to mount a rescue of the hostages.
The government wants to impede the FARC's humanitarian gesture, even if the cost is a potentially deadly confrontation, the statement said.
FARC has been at war with the Colombian government since the 1960s. While severely weakened in recent years, the guerrilla group has continued to carry out kidnappings and attack security forces.
In December the group had announced the planned release of six national police officers: Luis Alfonso Beltran, Cesar Augusto Laso, Carlos Jose Duarte, Jorge Trujillo, Jorge Humberto Romero and Jose Libardo Forero.