COLOMBIA SUPPORT NETWORK STATEMENT ON HOSTAGE RELEASE
July 5, 2008
The Colombia Support Network (CSN) celebrates the release from captivity of Ingrid Betancourt, Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell, Thomas Howes, and the remaining eleven FARC hostages who were freed on July 2, 2008. We are very pleased that these 15 persons are now able to return to their families and resume normal activities, leaving behind the constant fear and great physical suffering they were forced to endure as FARC captives.
We hope that the FARC, the ELN and any other insurgent groups which may remain in Colombia recognize that kidnapping is a crime against humanity and an act which produces revulsion against and rejection of those who kidnap. It is contrary to any meaningful ideals these revolutionary movements claim they hold. We call upon the FARC and the ELN to release all of the hostages they continue to hold and abandon kidnapping for either political or economic purposes. It is time for a negotiated end to the conflict in Colombia and for the guerrillas and the Colombian government to work toward a Humanitarian Agreement, under the Geneva Conventions, for release of hostages and prisoners and commencement of substantive peace talks.
Other countries in the international community have played an important role in support for a peace process for Colombia. We should keep working toward this goal and not forget nor abandon the immense group of Colombian citizens who continue to suffer the effects of the conflict in Colombia.
Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621