Commenting on the news that General Luis Mendieta was freed last weekend by the Colombian army after 12 years of captivity by a leftist guerrilla group, his wife asserted that “God heard” her prayers for his release.
Speaking on Colombian radio, she said, “I am the happiest woman in the world. I’m so happy, I don’t know what to do. Now is the time to hug him and I am going to celebrate his birthday with him. God heard my prayers. Thank God for this moment.”
In his first statements after being liberated, General Mendieta thanked President Alvaro Uribe for the rescue operation, the military and the media for supporting the liberation of hostages in Colombia. “May God repay you for this outcome,” he said.
The 53 year-old general was captured in 1998 by the leftist guerrilla group, FARC – Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia – during a siege of the eastern provincial capital of Mitu, reported the Boston Globe on Tuesday.
“Now that I have returned there are many things about Colombia, the world, everything, that I don’t know about, as I’ve spent 12 years with no intellectual stimulus,” the general said with emotion.
“I want to listen to the news, to commentary; I want to hear the voice of the people of the world because we heard no voices in the jungle. I want to hear from you, my beloved wife, from you, by beloved son, from you my beloved daughter. I want to hear from the entire world,” he added.
General Mendieta was liberated with Colonel Enrique Murillo, Sergeant Arbey Delgado Agote and Colonel William Donato, who all arrived in Bogota on a military plane from the province of Guaviare, where the rescue operation took place.