Colombian rebels to free hostages with conditions

Colombia’s largest rebel group says it plans to free five of the hostages in its custody.

The Fuerzas Revolucionarias de Colombia said in a statement Wednesday that it would free two politicians and three members of the military. The statement did not specify a date.  The leftist guerrilla group said the release date would depend on guarantees from the government that the captives would be received by former mediator and senator Piedad Cordoba.

In September, Colombia’s inspector general expelled the outspoken opposition senator from Congress and barred her from public service for 18 years, because of her alleged links with the rebel group.

Inspector General Alejandro Ordonez said Ms. Cordoba was dismissed for promoting and collaborating with the rebels.  Ms. Cordoba has been involved in past efforts to secure the release of hostages.

The rebels have been at war with the Colombian government since the 1960s.  The rebel group has been designated as a terrorist organization by Colombia, the United States and the European Union.

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