Well, here’s one in the eye for El Narcopresidente Uribe. Looks like what Chavecito and the FARC have both been insisting on all along, may just finally come true after all!
Colombia has offered to suspend the sentences of jailed guerrillas if rebels first free hostages including former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt.
Peace Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo said late Thursday that the liberation of some captives could jump-start the process of exchanging guerrillas for dozens of hostages, including three U.S. defense contractors.
“It is enough that Ingrid Betancourt be immediately freed for us to consider this humanitarian exchange is moving forward, and to begin delivering the benefits of suspended sentences to (jailed) members of the guerrilla group,” Restrepo told reporters.
In return for the hostages’ release, rebels would have to promise not to return to the ranks of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which has been fighting for decades to topple the government.
Family members of Betancourt, a French-Colombian citizen who has spent more than six years as a hostage in the jungle, are increasingly raising concerns over reports of her failing health. Betancourt’s husband, Juan Carlos Lecompte, has warned that she has “just months” left to live.
Her ex-husband, Fabrice Delloye, said the Colombian government’s offer represented “a positive step — the first time the Colombian government is talking about Ingrid’s release and also the opportunity for a humanitarian agreement.”
But he said it was still “just a step.”
“Restrepo must be more specific … telling FARC, we are ready to talk to you, we are ready to make a humanitarian agreement through a meeting in a free zone or a demilitarized zone in the southwest of Colombia,” he told The Associated Press in France.