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World

Colombia Rebels Release Video of Politician Held Since April

The rebels are demanding a $1 million ransom for Odin Sanchez's release

Families of people kidnapped by the ELN demonstrate in Colombia, July 20, 2016, photo: Wikimedia/Julián Ortega Martínez
1 year ago

Colombia’s second largest rebel group released the first proof-of-life video of a politician who handed himself over to the guerrillas to secure his brother’s release last April.

The National Liberation Army’s release of former Choco state Gov. Patrocinio Sanchez Montes de Oca was initially hailed by the government as a peace gesture. But President Juan Manuel Santos later froze incipient peace talks with the group after learning it was carried out on the condition that he be swapped for his brother, former congressman Odin Sanchez.

In the undated video that surfaced Thursday, Odin Sanchez complains about living in inhumane conditions comparable to what he calls the “fourth world.” He also urges the government to resume talks with the ELN.

The rebels are demanding a $1 million ransom for Sanchez’s release.

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