The FARC have said they will free ten hostages, who are policemen and members of the Armed Forces, on April 2 and April 4. The hostages have been held between thirteen and fourteen years.
They are Luis Alfonso Beltrán Franco, Luis Arturo Arcia, Robinson Salcedo Guarín, Luis Alfredo Moreno Chagüeza, Carlos José Duarte, César Augusto Lasso Monsalve, Jorge Trujillo Solarte, Jorge Humberto Romero, José Libardo Forero, and Wilson Rojas Medina.
Last February, the FARC announced on its its website that it would no longer kidnap civilians “for financial ends.”
Kidnappings in Colombia rose by 5.6 percent in 2011, according to the Ministry of Defense. There were 298 kidnappings in 2011, 16 more than in 2010, according to the Ministry of Defense. It contradicts police reports of an 8 percent fall in the same period.
The majority of the kidnappings were carried out by common criminals, with the FARC, the ELN and the BACRIM (“bandas criminales”) accounting for 26, 10 and 4 percent respectively.
The trend is a move from rural kidnappings to urban.
For fourteen years, as the president of Asfamipaz, Marleny Orjuela, has been has been working to free kidnapped members of the Armed Forces and the police. She suggested civilians should form their own organization. The affected families should unite and that will make their voices stronger, she said.