Colombian guerrilla group releases hostage to Catholic bishops


The guerrilla group known as the National Liberation Army has released Edgar Humberto Obando Olaya and turned him over to a Church commission led by Bishop Leonardo Gomez Serna of Magangue. Obando was kidnapped by the group on August 3, 2006.
The release occurred on April 26 in the mountainous region of Bolivar.  Joining Bishop Gomez Serna was the Director of the Peace Plan for Magdalena Medio, Father Libardo Valderrama; and Father Dario Echeverri Gonzalez, secretary of the Commission on National Reconciliation.
The Bishops’ Conference of Colombia said, “Obando Olaya was received by the humanitarian commission which immediately transferred him to Bucaramanga where he was returned to his family.  Although his health is good he is being examined closely to more accurately determine his condition.”
According to the bishops’ website, the guerrilla group sent a statement to the bishops about the release of Obando.

Meanwhile, the President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe, met with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican today and discussed the ongoing attempts to achieve reconciliation in the country.

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