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Re FARC hostages BBC replies

By Aleksander Boyd

Marbella 23-01-08 | Yesterday I sent a short note to the BBC, asking if they could share the source of the number of hostages Jeremy McDermott alleged are held by the narcoterrorist group FARC. To my surprise BBC News Website did reply, and in timely fashion, for which it merits a sincere and public thanks. Below the note received from the Beeb.

Dear Mr Boyd,

I will do my best but these numbers are opaque. There is a difference, which is on some levels superficial and misleading, between the 40-odd political hostages, known as los canjeables (the exchangeables) - in the main politicians, army, police officers. They are seen as being "exchangeable" for the 500 or so guerrilla prisoners the Farc wants released. The other 700 or so hostages - it not clear exactly how many or who they all are but it is believed many were snatched for ransom. We do try - in most of our output - to make reference not only to los canjeables but to the other hostages as well to convey a sense of the scale of the number held.

There is a Colombian website that tries to keep track of who has been kidnapped

I hope this helps a little.

Kind regards
BBC News website

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