WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
16 Dec 2007 | News

Colombian Hostage Negotiations: WOLA Co-Hosts News Conference

News Advisory

Colombian Hostage Negotiations: Afro-Colombian Senator and

Mother of U.S. Hostage To Speak in Washington


What: News Conference

Who:  Piedad Córdoba, Colombian Senator

          Jo Rosano, mother of U.S. hostage Marc Gonsalves, held by FARC guerrillas in Colombia since 2003

Where: TransAfrica Forum, 1629 K Street, NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC

When: Wednesday, December 19, 2007, 11 a.m.

Some 750 people are currently being held hostage by Colombian FARC guerrillas.  They include three U.S. defense contractors and former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt.  Efforts to win freedom for at least some of the hostages recently collapsed, due to what many hostage families called intransigence on the part of both President Álvaro Uribe’s government and the FARC.

Senator Piedad Córdoba has been a leader in efforts to promote the peaceful release of the hostages.  She is also the highest-ranking Afro-Colombian in the Colombian Congress and a prominent opponent to President Uribe on many  issues.  A lawyer by  profession, she was first elected to Colombia’s Chamber of Deputies in 1992 and elected to the Senate in 1996.

Jo Rosano is the mother of Marc Gonsalves. He and two other American men, Thomas Howes and Keith Stansell, were captured by the FARC in February 2003 when their small plane went down in a rebel-held area. The men were working for a U.S. defense contractor. Her visit to Washington has been organized by the Washington Office on Latin America.

Senator Córdoba and Ms. Rosano will be joined at the press conference by:

Nicole Lee, Executive Director, TransAfrica Forum

Humberto Garces, Manuel Zapata Olivella Center and member of U.S. Network for Advocacy in Solidarity with Grassroots Afro-Colombian Communitie

Joseph Jordan, Professor at the University of North Carolina



Joia Nuri, Communications Director, TransAfrica Forum, (240) 603 7905

Gimena Sánchez, Washington Office on Latin America, (202) 797 2171