French kidnapped reporter Romeo Langlois for France 24 is seen in an undated video frame released in Caracas, May 28, 2012 by news station Telesur. Colombia's FARC guerrilla group has decided to free a French reporter they kidnapped two weeks ago, although they have not given a date for his release, a Red Cross official said on Sunday citing a statement from the rebels. Heavily armed members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia kidnapped Romeo Langlois, a reporter for France 24, during a firefight with troops carrying out an anti-drug raid in Caqueta, a rebel-stronghold in the south. (Photo : REUTERS/TELESUR/Handout)
On Wednesday, Colombian rebels released French reporter Romeo Langlois after a month of captivity.
The 35-year-old walked with members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who has captured him a month ago during a firefight in Caqueta. A few weeks ago, the FARC released a statement demanding a delegation to ensure Langlois' release and on Monday May 28, the rebels released a video to show that Langlois was alive. The delegation that rescued Langlois included French diplomat Jean-Baptiste Chauvin, former Colombian Sen. Piedad Cordoba and the Red Cross country chief, Jordi Raich.
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According to Reuters, Langlois told reporters that the FARC had treated him like a "guest," gave him good food, and conducted themselves respectfully.
At his release in San Isidro, Langlois shared a wooden stage with the local FARC commander and villagers who blamed the government for neglecting the region.
As he spoke to reporters, Langlois chided the Colombian government for making everyone believe that the conflict was all but over and urged the media to pay more attention to Latin America's longest-running insurgency. He then blamed the lack of education and poverty in remote rural areas for the civil conflict that has killed tens of thousands over the decades.
Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe stated on his Twitter account that Langlois was being to sympathetic with the FARC. "Langlois: It's one thing to be journalistically curious, but it's another to identify with terrorists," wrote Uribe.
Langlois, a war reporter for France 24 who has been in Colombia for over 10 years, was captured on April 28 while filming an anti-cocaine operation carried out by Colombia's security forces in Caqueta, a department of Southern Colombia. Langlois reportedly went missing during the operation, but the FARC later confirmed that they had him held captive and that Langlois had been given medical treatment for an arm wound suffered during the firefight.
Langlois was the rebels' highest-profile captive since French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt was captured in 2002. She was released in 2008.
The FARC or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia first appeared in 1964 and have battled to redistribute the wealth of the Colombian people. Authorities claim that the organization funds itself largely through the cocaine trade and kidnappings. However, this past February FARC announced that it was ending ransom kidnapping in hopes of launching peace talks.