French journalist Roméo Langlois probably being held by Farc rebels in Colombia - Juppé
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French journalist Roméo Langlois is probably being held hostage by Farc rebels in Colombia «even if we are not absolutely certain » French minister for Foreign Affairs Alain Juppé said on Monday.
Meanwhile Colombian authorities have appealed to Farc guerrillas, calling on them not to kill Langlois, who has not been seen since he covered a clash between a military patrol and rebel forces on Saturday.
RFI’s correspondent in Bogota, Marie-Eve Detoeuf reports that Colombian Defence Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon gave some details of the weekend clash and anti-drug operation.
He said that shooting had lasted three hours and that Roméo Langlois had been wounded in the arm, but that he had managed to communicate that he was a journalist and had allowed himself to be captured by the guerrilla in order to avoid being killed.
Marie-Eve Detoeuf reports that on Sunday, major military re inforcements were dispatched to the Caquetà area, to try to rescue the journalist. The area is completely surrounded, though some fear that the military operation could endanger Roméo Langlois’s life.
There is optimism, however, because Roméo Langlois is still apparently alive and because Farc guerrillas have never taken a foreign journalist hostage.
He is also a very experienced journalist who has several times been in contact with Farc guerrillas in the course of his job. As well as working for television station, Roméo Langlois also reported for French newspaper Le Figaro.
Farc guerrillas have also just released all their hostages and for several months they have been trying to engage in dialogue with the government, so it would signal a change of approach if they decide to keep Roméo Langlois captive.