Colombian rebels to release one of the longest held hostages in the world

March 30th, 2010 - 11:58 pm ICT by BNO News  

FLORENCIA, COLOMBIA (BNO NEWS) — Two Brazilian helicopters emblazoned with the Red Cross logo took off on Tuesday from the Gustavo Paredes Airport in southern Colombia to pick up one of the longest held FARC hostages.

Pablo Emilio Moncayo was a teenager when captured 12 yeas ago and has become a symbol of troops left behind in the jungles.

Moncayo was kidnapped more than 12 years ago, when he was 18 years old, when rebels overran his army base. “Moncayo is one of the longest held hostages in the world,” said Pascal Jequier, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Bogota.

The mission to release Moncayo is led by Colombian Sen. Piedad Cordoba and composed of a Brazilian crew, members of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Catholic Church.

The news comes as the rebel group released another hostage, Colombian soldier Private Josué Daniel Calvo, earlier on Sunday. Calvo was flown to the city of Villavicencio where he was reunited with his family after nearly a year in captivity. He was taken hostage in April 2009.

The Red Cross said it is grateful to the government of Brazil, the government of Colombia and the country’s police and armed forces, Colombians for Peace and the FARC for their cooperation in carrying out the operation.

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