Colombia's FARC to Free 3 More Hostages

Health reasons, Chavez's diplomatic role cited in release
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2008 1:00 PM CST
Street vendors sale t-shirts that read in Spanish "No more kidnappings. No more lies. No more deaths. No more FARC." in Bogota, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2008. Marches across Colombia to denounce the country's...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Colombia’s FARC rebel group will release three lawmakers for health reasons after more than 6 years in captivity, the BBC reports. Taking a pointed side in the dispute between Hugo Chavez and Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, the rebels said in a statement to local media that they were releasing the hostages in response to Chavez’s mediation efforts.

"These liberations are a direct consequence of the realistic, complete, and transparent effort by President Chavez," the statement read. Many more hostages, such as French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, remain detained, but exchange efforts for FARC prisoners have been stalled by the rebels’ requirement that the government pull troops out of an area the size of New York City to facilitate the handover.