The ELN hands over three civilian kidnap victims, whom it had held for a month, to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Cauca. On March 18 the ELN handed over a minor to the ICRC in rural Arauca.
One of the FARC’s most prominent former hostages, ex-senator Ingrid Betancourt, sends a strongly worded letter to the chief judge of the JEP’s Chamber for Recognition of Truth, Responsibility, and Determination of Acts and Conducts. She is responding to a news report about some of the FARC’s testimony to the JEP, in which the guerrillas attempt to play down the severity of Betancourt’s six years in jungle captivity. “It is not up to the FARC to issue good-behavior certificates for its victims. Nor is it up to us to agree with what they do.” Betancourt objects strongly to the FARC defendants’ insistence on using the word “retention” as a euphemism for kidnapping.
In Bogotá, police arrest former FARC leader Ely Mejía Morales, alias “Martín Sombra.” Though he has been reportedly cooperating with the demobilization and transitional justice process, “Sombra” stands accused of playing a role in the ransom kidnapping of a rancher in Caquetá in 2017, after the peace accord went into effect. Martín Sombra is also known as the “jailer of the FARC” for his role in managing camps where the group kept kidnap victims for months or years at a time.