M-19 organisation guerrillas occupying the Dominican Embassy in the Colombian capital of Bogota on Saturday (19 April) released another of their diplomat hostages.
GV: Negotiators walking towards Dominican embassy as reporters watch. (2 shots)
GV: Negotiators leaving embassy
GV: Ambulance arriving at Embassy
GV: Journalists watch as ambulance leaves (4 shots)
GV: Car leaving embassy with Costa Rican consul,
On 22 April, the M-19 group freed the Dominican Consul, Rafael Sanchez, reducing the number of hostages held to 16.
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Background: M-19 organisation guerrillas occupying the Dominican Embassy in the Colombian capital of Bogota on Saturday (19 April) released another of their diplomat hostages. The freedom allowed Costa Rican Consul, Mr. Rolando Blanco Solis, brought the number of hostages released to 40, and reduced the total of those still held captive to 17.
SYNOPSIS: Negotiations over eight weeks have failed to produce a solution to the stalemate, although the guerrilla group has freed many hostages. Mr Solis was feed a few hours after a journalist, who had been held briefly by other members of the M-19 organisation, had passed on a message to Colombian authorities, asking for a meeting in Panama in an effort to end the stalemate.
The M-19 guerrillas stormed the Embassy on 27 February, talking almost 60 hostages and demanding the release of three-hundred and eleven prisoners, as well as a ransom of 50-million United States dollars (GBP 22-million). The Colombian government has consistently refused to release any prisoners on the ground that this would violate the country's constitution. It was on Saturday (19 April) that the M-19 group invited members of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission to visit the building, to discuss Amnesty International allegations that the Colombian Government was systematically torturing political prisoners. President Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala has rejected the London-based Amnesty International report as biased and unfair. The M-19 organisation's tenth anniversary was on April 19, the date from which the group took its name after claiming the 1970 elections in Colombia were fraudulent.