The rebels said three unidentified police officers and a soldier will be freed first, followed by Alan Jara, a former governor of southern Meta state, who was kidnapped in July 2001 and Sigifredo Lopez, a regional legislator held since April 2002.

The Farc has been kidnapping people for ransom and political leverage as part of its 44-year war against the government.
 
Among the group's former hostages is Ingrid Betancourt, who was snatched by rebels while running for president of Colombia in 2002 and held until July this year before she and 14 other captives were freed in a rescue operation.

The group continues to hold hundreds of Colombians, many from the security services, hostage.