So much for the discussion about how the efforts of the Red Cross would be hampered by the brilliant rescue of Ingrid Betancourt and friends (a discussion for which I had no patience):
Colombia’s FARC guerrillas have released eight hostages in the first such handover since the rebel group was tricked in a military operation to free Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other captives on July 2, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Thursday.
The eight Colombians were kidnapped last week by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, while traveling on the country’s northwestern jungle rivers.
Their release to the Red Cross appeared to allay concerns about the organization’s ability to work effectively in Colombia after its symbol was improperly used by the military in the July rescue.
“The operation was made possible through discreet dialogue between the parties concerned,” said Yves Heller, ICRC spokesman in Colombia. “We continue to work as a neutral mediator.”
I’m not sure I would have cared if the ICRC weren’t able to continue as such. While I’m happy that these eight were released (after mere days), it probably had more to do with their uselessness as political bargaining chips than with the ICRC’s tender mercies. Else why would hundreds more remain rotting in the jungles, chained by the neck, unbudged by the ICRC’s “discreet dialogue”?
Evil people do evil things; we can’t blame ourselves for their savagery.