The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has announced that it will release six hostages, including three police officers who have been held in captivity for 12 years.
The Colombian government of President Juan Manuel Santos has reacted cautiously to the FARC's announcement because it would not be the first time in recent weeks that the rebels have promised to release hostages without acting on it. In its statement, the FARC only identified the three officers - Jorge Trujillo Solarte, Jorge Humberto Romero and José Libardo Forero - who were captured at different times in 1999 in the municipality of Puerto Rico, in Meta department.
"We hope that the national government and the military authorities don't repeat the incident that occurred on November 26 in Caquetá," reads the statement.
Four of six hostages that were to be released by the FARC were shot dead by the rebels, igniting national outrage and citizen marches throughout many Colombian cities demanding the rebels disband. "We profoundly deplore that four of the six prisoners of war that we were going to unilaterally free after the request was made in August died after an irrational attempt was made by the Colombian military to rescue them when we planned on giving them to you," the FARC said.