Farc 'plans to free more hostages'

Colombian rebel groups says three politicians will be released due to poor health.

    Luis Eladio Perez has been held captive in Farc's
    jungle camps since 2001 [EPA]
    The statement praised Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, and Piedad Cordoba, a left-wing Colombian senator, for their efforts in attempting to broker a prisoner exchange deal.

    "These liberations are a direct consequence of the realistic, complete and transparent effort by President Chavez and other friendly governments in the search for a political solution to this humanitarian crisis," the statement said.

    Farc offered to hand over the three politicians to Chavez, Cordoba or their representatives.

    The statement gave no date for the proposed release.

    'Very emotional'

    Angela de Perez, wife of former senator Perez, said she was "very emotional, happy, content because of this unilateral act that the Farc will carry out".

    The Colombian government invited Chavez to help broker a hostage deal lat year, but cut off his participation after accusing him of aligning himself with the group.

    Alvaro Uribe, Colombia's president, and Farc have failed to agree on conditions that would allow the release of 44 hostages.

    Talks remain deadlocked over a demand by the group that Uribe pull troops back from an area the size of New York City in southern Colombia to facilitate a hostage handover.

    The announcement came a day before planned protests across Colombia and around the world denouncing the Colombian rebel group and hostage-taking.
       
    The violence and kidnapping associated with the four-decade conflict has dropped sharply. But the Farc continue to operate in rural areas.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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