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FARC splinter group releases UN worker in Colombia


A Colombian UN worker was freed Wednesday by dissident members of the FARC after spending two months in captivity, the global body said, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

 

Herledy López Hernández, who works for the UN Office for Drugs and Organized Crime (UNODC), was taken hostage May 3 by the First Front, a splinter faction of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and has refused to accept a peace deal signed between their commanders and the government.

 

“The wellbeing and security of our colleague and his family will continue to be a priority, to this end we ask that his privacy be respected, so that he has the space to be looked after in the appropriate manner to assure he is returned to his family and daily routine,” the UN said in a statement.

 

While López Hernández has yet to comment on his capture, his liberation was also confirmed by the Colombian Ministry of Defence on its official Twitter account

 

Details remain unclear regarding the circumstances that led up to López Hernández’s capture except that his convoy was two hours from the town of Miraflores, Guaviare, in an area known for the production of coca plants used to produce cocaine.

 

After more than five decades of conflict, the FARC and government agreed to peace terms last year.

 

While the official FARC has demobilized and disarmed, the dissident First Front, with an estimated 60 men, are holdouts to the deal and allegedly control strategic and lucrative routes for the cocaine shipment.

 

This dissident group is best known for kidnapping former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt in 2002 and holding her for almost six-and-a-half years.

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