WOLA is delighted by news that 15 hostages held by FARC guerrillas in Colombia are now free and in good health. We share in the joy felt by their families and friends. The hostages, including former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and three U.S. military contractors, were rescued by Colombian troops, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
WOLA looks forward to learning more details about the operation in the coming days, particularly from the hostages themselves through their eyewitness accounts.
Alongside our joy at the liberation of these 15 hostages, WOLA also expresses concern for what this rescue operation could mean for the fate of the several hundred hostages still in FARC captivity. Once again, we urge the FARC to release all its remaining hostages unconditionally and immediately. We hope the liberation of these 15 hostages will help open the way to a peaceful path out of Colombia's violence, and that both the government and the FARC will see this as an opportunity to pursue peace, rather than further bloodshed.
Finally, WOLA expresses special and heartfelt congratulations to Jo Rosano, mother of one of the U.S. hostages, Marc Gonsalves. Ms. Rosano (in the photo above) has spoken at WOLA and other forums and worked tirelessly for the peaceful release of her son and other hostages and for peace in Colombia.
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