Soccer keeps FARC hostages alive

Colombia celebrates its soccer-victory over Bolivia (2-0) and the country’s daily El Espectador publishes a nice story about how soccer alleviates the suffering of the FARC hostages. “Soccer gave me the possibility to escape the kidnapping or it gave me the opportunity to run away from the news if they were going to liberate us or not”, Alan Jara, who was liberated¬† in February, said to El Espectador.

Not one second Jara and the other hostages left the radios which they were allowed to have during their captivity in the jungle, when a soccer match was going on. Unfortuantely they had to turn the radio off when an army plane was flying over. And they couldn’t shout when a goal was made, because that also could attract the attention of soldiers who might be near.

Soccer also influenced the behaviour of the guerrilla wardens. When they were happy about the match, they might be nicer to their prisoners and even take off their chains for a while….

Among themselves the hostages made bets. Jara: “The most exiting year was 2007, because I made a bet with sergeant Arbey Delgado: the washing of 50 pots for who would win the second championship, Millos or Santa Fe” (the moest important teams of Bogot√°).


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