Resolution adopted at the EGP Council, Ljubljana, 11-13 April 2008.
The European Greens call for the immediate release of Ingrid Betancourt and all other hostages that are being held by the FARC guerrilla.
To our deepest dismay, noticeable indications of a possible release earlier this year, when Ingrid’s former campaign manager Clara Rojas and other political hostages were released by the FARC, unfortunately proved premature. According to former hostage and senator Luis Eladio Pérez, who was released in February, the FARC was seriously considering to release all hostages – with Ingrid supposed to be the last to go.
After 2239 days detained, Ingrid is in a very alarming state of health. She is said to be suffering from Hepatitis B and she urgently needs medical treatment. It is by no means acceptable that the International Red Cross is refused access to Ingrid Betancourt and other hostages by FARC.
We denounce the terrorist manner in which FARC attempts to achieve its political goals. It is also true that if there has been a positive signal from FARC to release hostages, it has been contradicted by the Colombian government. President Alvaro Uribe has shown that he is not interested in pursuing the humanitarian agreement being sought by the troika of France, Spain and Switzerland and that he is determined to achieve a military defeat of FARC. The recent illegal incursion by Colombian forces into Ecuador thus could not only potentially lead to war between Colombia and Ecuador and Venezuela but also put the lives of all those hostages still being held by FARC and potential international negotiators in even greater danger.
Considering the incapability of FARC and the Colombian government to come to an understanding and to release the hostages, a lot depends on the EU. We deeply regret the fact that the EU has so far been silent regarding this situation, And we call on Javier Solana, the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign Policy, to ensure that the EU does everything in its power to avoid further escalation of the situation in Colombia, to energetically reject any military attempt to free the hostages and facilitates negotiations to help bring about a political end to the armed conflict.
The Council of the European Green Party therefore calls upon all green officials and all green members in national Parliaments throughout Europe to increase political pressure on their governments to help Ingrid and the other hostages and to act in support for their immediate release.