Colombia's Farc rebels free ex-governor
Colombian leftist rebels have freed a former governor held hostage for more than seven years. The release was facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The humanitarian group announced the release of Alan Jara, who had been kidnapped by FARC rebels in 2001, on Tuesday.
Jara was to have been freed on Monday, but the handover was delayed. Jara's release comes two days after the FARC guerrillas released three police officers and a soldier who were abducted more than one year ago.
Leftist rebels on Tuesday freed an ex-governor they had held for more than seven years, and he beamed as stepped from a helicopter into the embrace of his wife and son.
Alan Jara, 51, looking thin but relatively fit, wore a gray canvas hat and carried a rucksack to which a battered and blackened pot was strapped. But he said he had a thyroid problem and trouble with an eye.
Jara was the fifth hostage released this week by the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which also had promised to free former provincial lawmaker Sigifredo Lopez, 45, on Thursday.
"He looks a little worn out to me," said Jara's 15-year-old son, Alan Felipe, who had lived half his life without his father.
Leftist intellectuals are hoping the rebel goodwill gesture will prod the government to open a dialogue that might end the FARC's 45-year-old cocaine-funded insurgency.