Colombia: FARC to release hostages 鈥攄espite new government raids

Colombia’s Sen. Piedad C贸rdoba, flown by a Brazilian helicopter, arrived March 27 in the central city of Villavicencio to oversee the release of two hostages held by the FARC. Brazil is providing logistical support for the operation. C贸rdoba, the Brazilian team, the bishop of the city of Magangu茅, members of Colombians for Peace, and members of the International Red Cross are scheduled to leave Villavicencio to pick up one of the two hostages this weekend.

The release of one of the hostages, soldier Pablo Emilio Moncayo, takes places almost a year after the FARC for the first time promised to release the soldier. Moncayo is the FARC’s longest-held hostage, held in the jungle since 1997. According to the FARC, he is in poor health. Soldier Josu茅 Daniel Calvo is also to be released. (Colombia Reports, March 27)

Also March 27, Colombian authorities announced the seizure of almost $2 million worth of assets belonging to FARC leader “Mono Jojoy,” supposedly dismantling his financial network. The operation, organized by the Prosecutor General’s Office and National Police, took place primarily in the central Colombian department of Meta, as well as in the cities of Bogot谩, Ibagu茅 and Casanare. The operations saw six separate raids carried out on property supposedly belonging to the FARC boss. Real estate, vehicles and computers were seized, and 12 people arrested. (Colombia Reports, March 27)

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