Conflict & Justice

Colombia's vice president on hostage release

The niece of this freed Colombian hostage says her family never supported a military operation to free FARC hostages for fear of a bloodbath but now the Colombian government successfully carried out a bloodless operation to free hostages, she is thankful. FS says the operation was in the works for a long time: this is an operation that was thought up by some intelligence officers and everyone thought they were crazy at first. They promised good results. The President gave them a go ahead. We knew it was a risky operation, but nothing went wrong. It was a flawless operation and it shows how good our intelligence is. it shows that the end of the FARC is near. (Were you concerned about the safety of the hostages?) No, there was no risk for the hostages because the hostages were unarmed. Our assets played the part of an NGO but there was no moment where the hostages were at risk. (What sort of support did you receive from the US government?) It was a Colombian operation, that was it. it was a tiny operation, but designed and developed by Colombian intelligence officials. We told the US government what was coming down but that was it. I think this shows that you don't negotiate your principals. (There was a raid in March by Colombian officials into Venezuela to kill a FARC operative. That operative's computer was seized, so how crucial was that operation?) What you're seeing is the FARC has little command and control, little structure, little organization. That provides opportunities for us to do the military operations that we've done.

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