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Colombian Rebels to Free Six Hostages Held 12 Years in Gesture

Colombian soldiers watch a proof of life video of police officer Jorge Trujillo Solarte --held hostage by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) during a press conference at the Defense Ministry in Bogota on Sept. 07, 2009. Photographer: Eitan Abramovich /AFP/Getty Images
Colombian soldiers watch a proof of life video of police officer Jorge Trujillo Solarte --held hostage by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) during a press conference at the Defense Ministry in Bogota on Sept. 07, 2009. Photographer: Eitan Abramovich /AFP/Getty Images

Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Colombia’s largest rebel group will release six hostages, some of whom who have been held in captivity for more than a decade, as a humanitarian gesture following the death of its leader Alfonso Cano in November.

“The course that the country requires is the great march toward peace,” according to a statement from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, a copy of which was published by media including Venezuela’s Telesur.

Those slated to be released include police officers Jorge Trujillo, Jorge Romero and Jose Libardo Forero as well as three other hostages the half-century old Marxist insurgency said it would identify at a later date.

While the rebel group didn’t say when it would free the hostages, that may take place by the first half of January, Carlos Lozano, a journalist and member of the group Colombians for Peace, told Caracol Radio.

The hostages, which the FARC call ‘prisoners of war,’ were captured by the guerrilla group in an assault on a town in Meta province in 1999. They will be released to former Senator Piedad Cordoba, an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the FARC said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Randall Woods in Santiago at rwoods13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net

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