Mother of Policeman Kidnapped by the FARC Completes March for His Freedom
By Dialogo July 20, 2009 Bogotá, July 16 (EFE).- Olivia Solarte, the mother of a police officer kidnapped by the FARC ten years ago, completed a march of more than 550 kilometers asking for the release of her son, Superintendent Jorge Trujillo Solarte, in Bolívar Square in central Bogotá today. Accompanied by her husband and by five retired Colombian army soldiers, the woman in her sixties covered the distance between the municipality of Gamarra, in the Cesar Department in northern Colombia, and the capital in thirteen days, with the hoping to speak to Colombian president Álvaro Uribe in Bogotá, a meeting that could finally take place on Friday. “I am very happy and pleased because now I have reached my goal,” EFE was told by Trujillo’s mother, who suffered from health problems during her journey and who even had to receive treatment at several hospitals along the way, as she disobeyed medical advice to give up her march. She recalled that there were more than a few times that she had to cover stretches of the route in “a police car or hooked up to an oxygen tube,” as she commented. Her march was joined by the parents of other hostages held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), calling for a humanitarian agreement between the government and the guerrilla group for the release of those kidnapped. Solarte expressed confidence that “this outcry will reach the hearts of the guerrillas so that those kidnapped will not die in the jungle any more,” and added, “neither my son nor anyone else.” The marcher explained that her four children “serve their country” and that one of them, a career soldier, was murdered by the FARC in her presence. Same as Gustavo Moncayo, a professor and father of Pablo Emilio Moncayo, a Colombian army corporal kidnapped by the FARC more than eleven years ago, Solarte began her march, “seeing that there was a great deal of silence” around the kidnapping of her son. Trujillo Solarte was kidnapped by the FARC in Puerto Rico (El Meta, in the center of the country) on September 11, 1999, in a rebel attack on a police station. Despite the fact that the officer’s family last received evidence that he was alive six years ago, they know that he is well to some extent, since this was reported by the former governor of El Meta, Alan Jara, his fellow captive until his release in February.