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Hostage Release FARC Peace Signal?

Published måndag 23 mars 2009 kl 09.54
Freed Swedish hostage Erik Roland Larsson

Columbian authorities rate the release of the FARC guerillas’ last foreign hostage, Swedish citizen Erik Roland Larsson, as a sign for the rebel movement’s readiness to negotiate with the Bogota government.

In an interview with Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter Columbian senator Piedad Cordoba confirmed that she had succeeded in reaching the Swede’s release in secret talks with FARC leaders.

Ms. Cordoba said she sees the Swedish engineer’s being freed as a clear sign for the leftist rebel movement’s will to reach a peace agreement.

The FARC, an acronym for Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, took up armed attacks against Columbian government troops and installations in 1964. Among hundreds of hostages kidnapped by FARC was Columbian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt who was set free last July after six years of captivity. Erik Roland Larsson, who was taken hostage two years ago and was released last Tuesday is expected to return to Sweden this week.

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