Thursday, February 25, 2021

Colombian rebels free French reporter

A woman checks a wound on the left arm of French journalist Romeo Langlois after his release by
the FARC, in San Isidro, Colombia. Fernando Vergara/AP

Reuters) – Colombia’s FARC guerrillas freed French reporter Romeo Langlois on Wednesday, a month after taking him hostage in a firefight that showed the leftist group is still a menace despite a decade of military blows.

Langlois, the rebels’ highest-profile captive since French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, was taken hostage in the southern Caqueta region on April 28 after he was caught in crossfire between a Colombian military unit he was embedded with and heavily armed FARC rebels.

- Advertisement -

The 35-year-old walked with members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) dressed in camouflage into a crowd of villagers, many of whom took pictures of him with their cell phones.

“I was never tied up. They treated me rather like a guest. They gave me good food … they were always very respectful,” the France 24 freelance journalist told reporters at the scene in the jungle zone.

“I can’t complain.”

Langlois was wounded in his left arm, but appeared to be in good health and urged the world to pay more attention to Latin America’s longest-running insurgency.

- Advertisement -

“There should be more journalists reporting with the guerrillas to show their day-to-day life,” he said.

In France, President Francois Hollande celebrated Langlois’ release as a moment of “joy” and “relief”. “My thoughts also go out to our other compatriots that are still held and for which the government is working to get released.”

France has seven other citizens held overseas, including six in the Sahel region of Africa and one intelligence officer in Somalia.

The last French citizen held by the FARC was Betancourt, who was rescued by Colombian military in 2008 after six years in jungle captivity.

The FARC has accused Colombia’s government of manipulating journalists to bend public opinion against them and had called for a debate on freedom of information as a condition for Langlois’ release.


- Advertisement -

The FARC started as a Marxist peasant movement in the 1960s and later turned to kidnapping, extortion and drug smuggling to finance their insurgency. The European Union and United States have labeled the FARC a terrorist group.

A U.S.-funded military crackdown has weakened the rebels in recent years, prompting signs that they may be willing to engage in peace talks.

President Juan Manuel Santos has said he will not consider peace talks until the group ceases all attacks against military and civilian targets and frees all captives.

The FARC’s involvement in the cocaine trade, however, provides it with plenty of funds to stay strong in remote jungle areas and it has stepped up attacks in recent months.

The rebels are suspected of being behind a bomb attack earlier this month against former Interior Minister Fernando Londono in the capital, Bogota. Londono survived the blast, but his driver and a bodyguard were killed.

FARC guerrillas also killed 12 soldiers in an ambush on an army unit near the Venezuelan border last week, and they have carried out a string of bomb attacks against oil infrastructure.

Both sides are accused of rights abuses during the conflict. Soldiers allegedly killed civilians then dressed them as rebels to give the impression they were beating their enemies, and the FARC has kidnapped hundreds of civilians for ransom.

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of onlinemagazines that includes Rico brings his special kind of savvy to online marketing. His websites are engaging, provocative, informative and sometimes off the wall, where you either like or you leave it. The same goes for him, like him or leave him.There is no middle ground. No compromises, only a passion to present reality as he sees it!

Related Articles

Bogotá, Medellín and Cali: the cities with the most violations of measures against covid-19

QCOLOMBIA - Since the mandatory isolation began in Colombia, 1,400,387 finess...

What happens if a Colombian does not attend the scheduled covid-19 vaccination appointment?

QCOLOMBIA - A few days after starting the National Vaccination Plan,...


What happens if a Colombian does not attend the scheduled covid-19 vaccination appointment?

QCOLOMBIA - A few days after starting the National Vaccination Plan, Colombians still have some doubts regarding their immunization process and there is fear...

We do not move even half the passengers we would have on a normal day: Transmilenio manager

QCOLOMBIA - The public transport system in Colombia has been one of the worst-hit sectors since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as quarantines...

Colombia Suffered Its Deepest Slump Since 1905 Last Year

(Bloomberg) -- Colombia’s economy suffered its deepest contraction in more than a century last year, leaving it wracked by soaring debt, mass unemployment and...

Colombia receives first batch of vaccines

QCOLOMBIA - Colombia advanced the start of the immunization campaign against the coronavirus to February 17, three days ahead of schedule, after receiving the...

There’s A Good Chance Your Valentine’s Flowers Come From Colombia

QCOLOMBIA - If you send a bouquet of roses for Valentine's Day, chances are they were grown in Colombia. It remains the No. 1...

Colombia begins 2021 with a reactivation of 55% in flights

QCOLOMBIA - The end of the year travel season arrived with important expectations of recovery for the tourism sector. The improvement in the tourist...

Pope thanks Colombia for efforts to protect migrants

Q REDAQTED (Vatican News) - “I always look with gratitude at the efforts of those who work for migrants,” Pope Francis said on Sunday...

Colombia okays US$38 billion dollar reactivation plan

QCOLOMBIA - Colombia’s economic and social policy council (Conpes) has greenlighted a 135 trillion Colombian peso (US$38 billion) economic reactivation plan, which will be...

Colombian Clever Leaves made first shipment of medical cannabis to the U.S.

QCOLOMBIA - Clever Leaves, a Colombian company authorized to handle pharmaceutical grade cannabinoids, announced that its subsidiary, Herbal Brands, managed to establish a strategic...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!