Bishops of Colombia oppose military action to free hostages

.- The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia, Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro, said this week the Colombian bishops oppose the use of military action to liberate hostages being held by the Marxist group “Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia” (FARC).

On Wednesday, Archbishop Castro said the possibility of a military rescue being contemplated by the government of President Alvaro Uribe would put the lives of dozens of hostages at risk.

“It’s better for the families of the hostages to wait a few months (with the hope there will be an humanitarian accord) rather than welcoming home a corpse,” the archbishop said in response to recent statements by the Minister of Defense, Juan Manuel Santos, who said a military rescue “is being considered as an alternative.”

Although the military successfully rescued former government official Fernando Araujo two weeks ago, the families of the 58 politicians and military officers held by the FARC are opposed to any new rescue attempts.

The FARC is seeking to obtain the release of 500 of its members currently imprisoned for various crimes, including drug trafficking, murder and kidnapping.  For now, President Uribe has suspended all negotiations with the Marxist guerillas after they broke a cease-fire agreement by attacking a military school in Bogota, leaving scores wounded.

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