Without difficulties fortunately ex-gouvernor of the Meta department in Colombia Alan Jara today was released by the leftist guerrillagroup FARC. Alan Jara had been a hostage for 7,5 years. His face is like a dead man’s face, he appears to have lost lots of weight, but mentally he is (or seems?) as strong as an ox.I was impressed by his sincerity and his wit. He was stressing the importance of an agreement with the FARC to exchange hostages for guerrilleros in prison (the humanitarian agreement). Piedad Córdoba, who worked hard for his liberation and who is despised so much, was thanked first. I loved him for it.
Jara impressed me also with his memory. He named many of his fellow hostages and their wives and children. He exhibited a lot of tenderness and humanity.
He said some important things, which president Uribe and the Colombian will not like. He said that the FARC are not as weak as the government says. He has seen a lot of young guerrilleros, also younger than 18. (Look at my post Child soldiers in Colombia). And he says there are social reasons for this. These youngsters don’t have a perspective in life.
He said a very controversial thing: that Uribe and the FARC both have an interest to continue this war. It strengthens their power. Jara asked the FARC-commander who accompanied his liberation what he thought of Uribe. The guy said that Lenin had said that you need a hard and difficult situation to start the revolution and because of that he hopes that Uribe will be reelected. That’s quite cynical.
Everybody who knows Colombian politics a little, knows that Uribe is not in favour of the humanitarian agreement. Jara didn’t condemn Uribe’s policy of democratic safety (seguridad democrática) as many opponents do. He just said that with all the strength the government has won, the humanitarian agreement should not be a problem. That was smart.
This man is a perfect candidate to run for presidency in 2010. Much better than Ingrid Betancourt.
And last but not least, I hope that Piedad goes on with her work to get the hostages free. I hope that Alan Jara will help her. I think so. He already asked to be a member of the group which accompanies her: Colombians for Peace.