On May 31 Colombian senator Piedad Cordoba told reporters that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country’s largest leftist guerrilla organization, was close to freeing Ingrid Betancourt, the 2002 presidential candidate of the Oxygen Green Party, and her running mate, Clara Rojas, along with Rojas’ child, who was born in captivity. The FARC captured Betancourt and Rojas in 2002. Apparently this is in response to a government plan to free a number of captured FARC members.
Also on May 31, the national armed forces commander, Gen. Freddy Padilla de Leon, acknowledged that in May the military carried out an operation code-named “Tifon” (“typhoon”) aimed at freeing Betancourt and Rojas; Betancourt’s family was opposed to military actions to free the hostages. The operation, in which three alleged FARC members were killed, followed police agent John Frank Pinchao’s April 28 escape from the FARC after nine years in captivity; he had confirmed that Betancourt was alive. (EFE, June 1)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, June 3