Colombian rebels free French journalist

May 30, 2012 at 9:57 PM
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FLORENCIA, Colombia, May 30 (UPI) -- Leftist rebels in Colombia Wednesday freed a French journalist they had held for more than a month.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC, released Romeo Langlois to a group consisting of International Committee of the Red Cross representatives, French officials and members of the human rights group Colombians for Peace in a remote town in southern Colombia, Colombia Reports said.

The team brought Langlois to Florencia, where he appeared relaxed and smiled as he was swarmed by media and local citizenry, the news Web site reported.

Langlois, who was captured April 28 while embedded with government troops on an anti-drug trafficking mission, said he intends to keep reporting on the conflict between Colombia's government and the rebels.

"What I have is the conviction that we must continue to cover this conflict," he said. "The job of a journalist is to cover all sides of the conflict, the guerrillas, the army. I hope that the army continues taking people to cover conflict zones. Hopefully there are journalists who also go with the guerrillas to show the daily life of the fighters, because this conflict is not covered."

Langlois said he was treated well during his captivity.

"I was never tied up. I was treated like a guest," Langlois said. "They gave me good food and were very respectful."

The journalist said he was shot in the arm during the fighting that resulted in his capture, but that his wound was healing well.

Piedad Cordoba, a former elected official who helped obtain Langlois' release, called the negotiation results "fortunate."

"There could have been another outcome," she said.

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