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Comment on Ingrid Betancourt's liberation in Colombia

03 July 2008

The World Council of Churches (WCC) shares the joy of the liberation of Ms. Ingrid Betancourt as well as other hostages in Colombia. When the whole world witnesses the happiness of Ms. Betancourt, her children, family and friends we can rejoice while still remembering the hundreds of people who are still hostages of the FARC.

The detention of these people is an unacceptable situation which should be reverted immediately. Hostage taking should have no place in the processes of social and political transformation. The WCC calls the FARC to release hostages on a humanitarian basis and reiterates its call to President Uribe and the FARC to look for a peaceful solution of the conflict in Colombia.

During the many decades of the conflict thousands of Colombian people have died because of the confrontation. Among them many civilians who were victims of this war. All over the world there is a call to stop this violence.

The WCC welcomes the mediation efforts done by the governments of France, Switzerland, Spain, Ecuador and Venezuela. The liberation of Ms. Betancourt should not stop these efforts but strengthen them to achieve peace with justice in Colombia. We welcome this liberation as an important step in a yet uncompleted process.

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
WCC general secretary