Friday, July 11, 2008

On the Hostage Rescue

I've been both very busy in the last week and a half and not near internet, so haven't had time to post here, but given all the questions I've been getting about the rescue of the 15 hostages from the FARC, I thought it would be good to check in and make a few comments.

First, I am fine and we are not all that worried that the rescue will have negative repercussions for us and our work. Thanks for your concern!

Second, some comments on the rescue:
It is absolutely fantastic that the 15 hostages were freed and are back at home with their families, and I am so glad that their suffering at the hands of the FARC is over. However, like I did with my last post about Uribe, I'd like to mention a few related items that aren't getting as much attention.

An article in Wednesday's New York Times did a good job of highlighting one of the concerns that those of us doing human rights here have after the rescue: that the other victims of the conflict will be forgotten. The article interviews the mother of a non-celebrity kidnap victim, who "fears that [her son's] chances of coming home soon have been diminished by the spectacular ruse to trick the rebels and the resulting celebration of the hostage rescue." As the article explains, there are at least 700 more hostages still in the hands of the guerrillas, and their lives and freedom are also important and necessary.

In addition, and what the article doesn't mention, are the other victims of the conflict, those who receive even less media attention: the 4,000,000 Colombians displaced from their homes because of the violence (second highest number of displaced people in the world, after Sudan), or the 140 Peace Community members who have been killed in the past several years. It's my hope that all the people and policy makers around the world reading about the flashy rescue don't loose sight of the continuing conflict and its remaining victims.

1 comment:

MaryB said...
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