Bloomberg News

Colombian FARC Rebels Say They're Holding French Reporter

May 06, 2012

A French journalist, Romeo Langlois, is being held as a “prisoner of war” by Colombian FARC guerrillas, a commander from the Marxist rebel group said.

Langlois is lightly injured in one arm, according to the guerrilla, who identified himself as “Monazo,” a squadron commander from the group’s 15th Front, in a statement recorded by freelance journalists Karl Penhaul and Carlos Villalon yesterday.

“The French journalist Romeo Langlois, captured in combat wearing military uniform, is in our hands,” the guerrilla read in a video posted by Penhaul on YouTube today. “He is a prisoner of war.”

“Monazo” attributed the statement to senior commanders of the 15th Front, which is holding the French journalist. In a telephone interview today, Penhaul, a former CNN and Reuters reporter, said he traveled to southern Colombia with Chilean photographer Villalon last week to meet the rebels. The statement from the guerrillas was dated April 30.

Penhaul said he made the recording on May 5. As for the man who gave the interview, Penhaul said: “He’s a squad commander, he’s a junior commander of the 15th front, and he was speaking on direct verbal authorization by senior commanders of the Southern Bloc.”

Langlois was captured on April 28 when guerrillas attacked troops on a counter-narcotics operation he was filming in southern Colombia, and was injured during a firefight.

FARC is the Spanish acronym for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which has been waging war against the nation’s government for almost five decades.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Bristow in Brasilia at mbristow5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Bristow at mbristow5@bloomberg.net


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