Brazil helicopters to get Colombia captives by FARC: Source
Brazil will supply helicopters to help pick up a group of hostages whom Colombia's FARC rebels plan to free soon from jungle camps, a source said.
Brazil will supply helicopters to help pick up a group of hostages whom Colombia's FARC rebels plan to free soon from jungle camps, a source close to the process said on Friday.
FARC guerrillas, who have been fighting the government for four decades, said in December they would release four members of the armed forces and two politicians.
The International Committee of the Red Cross is coordinating the operation, but all sides must still agree on who will participate in the commission to receive the hostages and no date has been set for the release.
Brazil will supply at least two helicopters and crew to fly into the jungles to pick up the hostages once a deal has been brokered, said the source, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of negotiations.
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe had said he would not permit foreign involvement. But Brazil's moderate leftist government has increasingly taken on a mediating role in the region.
Venezuelan's left-wing President Hugo Chavez last year helped broker hostage releases with the Marxist-inspired rebels. But Bogota was uncomfortable with what it saw as his open sympathy for the FARC and later ended his mediator role.
Ties in the Andean region soured further when Colombian soldiers killed a top FARC commander hiding inside Ecuador, sparking a brief dispute when Quito and Caracas sent troops to their frontiers with Colombia.
Latin America's oldest guerrilla movement, the FARC has been battered by Uribe's U.S.-backed military campaign. Over the last year, rebels have lost three top commanders and the military rescued a group of high-profile FARC hostages.
Reuters Last Mod: 24 Ocak 2009, 12:16