JournalismPakistan.com May 29, 2012
BOGOTA:Colombian rebels on Monday sent "proof of life" of a French journalist held captive for a month in the jungle, days before his expected release.
Video footage broadcast on the Latin American cable TV network Telesur showed France 24 reporter Romeo Langlois in good health despite a bandage on one arm from an injury apparently sustained during his capture.
"I am a civilian, a French international journalist," Langlois said, smiling as he spoke in Spanish in front of a camera in a FARC jungle camp.
"You know what you're exposed to when you undertake this kind of activity," he said, referring to his reporting mission embedded in a Colombian army unit. "But the truth is I didn't think it was going to get so terrible."
Langlois was captured at the end of April during a clash between FARC rebels and the army unit he was filming. The FARC have said they will free the Frenchman on Wednesday.
A delegation comprising a French envoy, representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and former Colombian senator Piedad Cordoba are being dispatched to fetch 35-year-old Langlois.
"We just have to hope everything goes well on the day," French ambassador Pierre-Jean Vandoorne told radio Caracol.
Initially, the FARC guerrillas declared Langlois a "prisoner of war."
The reporter was wearing a Colombian army helmet and a bullet-proof vest at the time of his capture, which he shed before surrendering to the guerrillas and declaring he was a civilian, according to the authorities.
In mid-May, the FARC relented and said it was prepared to release him as long as it was provided with the usual security guarantees such as a suspension of Colombian military operations in the region.
Military officials have agreed to suspend operations from 6:00 pm (2300 GMT) Tuesday until Thursday at 6:00 am (1100 GMT) in the area near the planned release in Colombia's southern jungle.
The exact location where the reporter will be freed has not been announced. - AFP
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