Bogotá, Colombia, Dec 11, 2003 / 22:00 pm
The Catholic Church and the Columbian government have reached an agreement that will strengthen the negotiating committee, which is seeking to reach an agreement with the Revolutionary Forces of Columbia (FARC) for the release of the hostages being held by the guerrilla group.
President Álvaro Uribe Vélez met with the Archbishop of Bogotá, Cardinal Pedro Rubiano Sáenz, and with representatives of the families that had occupied the city’s Cathedral for more than 29 hours to draw attention to those being held by the FARC.
After the meeting the families agreed to leave the Church, expressing their optimism at the good will shown by the government in advancing towards a solution.
Although details of the agreement were not made known, local reports indicated the government will seek the release before Christmas of at least those hostages that are in poor health as well as ask for assurances of the well-being of the other hostages.