The humanitarian action was led by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the north of Cauca – credit Christian Escobar/EFE
After 40 days in captivity, the FARC dissidents released the professional soldier Juan David Estrada Suárez, kidnapped on Saturday, August 12 when he was traveling between the municipalities of Caloto and Santander de Quilichao.
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The uniformed man, held by members of the Dagoberto Ramos structure of the Central General Staff (EMC), was handed over to a humanitarian caravan of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICCR), which led the reunion with his family in that department.
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Likewise, it is expected that during the last week of September, professional soldiers Nelson Vásquez Reina and Edwer Paz Pantoja, also held by the residual group, will be released.
The release of the uniformed man was accompanied by the Cicr, which led the act of reunion with his family – credit Cicr
On the night of Monday, September 25, the humanitarian organization called for respect and protection of the caravans in charge of releasing kidnapped people. This after the raid by ELN members on several vehicles of the Committee that had led the rescue of eight people who had been held by the EMC in Arauca.
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In fact, the guerrillas took away the subjects who would also be part of that illegal group, and although there were no confrontations, both the CICR and the Ombudsman’s Office described this action against humanitarian organizations as “unprecedented.”
“Disrespect for humanitarian action has a direct impact on communities affected by armed conflicts and other situations of violence,” said the Cicr. In passing, he called on illegal groups to allow these caravans access to all territories.
The Ombudsman’s Office, for its part, was also blunt with this action by the ELN. “I see with absolute concern the degradation that the armed conflict in Colombia is suffering, particularly with what happened in Arauca,” said defender Carlos Camargo.
At the end of a security council held in Jamundí (Valle del Cauca) after the car bomb attack at the Police substation in the Potrerito district, the Minister of Defense emphasized that the announcement by Iván Mordisco’s dissidents to suspend their attacks against The Military and Police Forces will not be an impediment to continuing the offensive against this structure.
However, he acknowledged that he expects compliance from this stronghold for the protection of communities in high-impact areas such as Cauca, Nariño and Valle del Cauca.
“We are going to see that this is a reality, something that we have known from the past of that organization,” he told the senior official. Likewise, he suggested that the Western Bloc of dissidents does not comply with the orders established by the command, which is why he is one of the main authors of the violent escalation in the southwest of the country.
“Particularly the Western Bloc seems to be by force of the entire general leadership of that illegal armed organization,” he added. Thus, he determined that Army and Police operations will continue, such as the one carried out to maintain control in the Micay Canyon (Algeria, Cauca).
Velásquez Gómez also expressed that “there is a responsibility of the public forces” to maintain their presence in critical points of the country, such as the south of Valle del Cauca and the north of Cauca, and held them responsible for focusing these terrorist attacks against civilians.
“This is an action clearly directed against the communities. So we wait, which does not mean that waiting for them to comply with what they announce in the statement means inactivity of the public force,” concluded the head of the National Defense portfolio.