The longest-held political hostage of Colombia’s FARC guerillas, Oscar Lizcano, has been freed after eight years in the jungle.
The 63 year-old parliamentarian thanked his captor, Isaza and two other guerillas who had been holding him for defecting and delivering him into the arms of Columbian security forces.
“I have to thank the person who had the guts and courage to escape, taking me, a sick old man with him,” he said.
The Colombian army had encircled the area where Lizcano was being held and was tightening the noose before Isaza decided to get his captive out before an assault that could have cost him his life, trekking for three days through the jungle to hand him over to the security forces.
President Alvaro Uribe thanked him for choosing peace over confrontation, but Isaza may also have been bearing in mind a French offer endorsed
by Uribe earlier this year, offering political asylum in France to FARC guerillas helping hostages to escape.
It is estimated between 350 to 700 people are still being held by the FARC in Colombia.