According to Felipe Muñoz, the head of DAS (the Colombian intelligence agency), 69-year-old Larsson suffered a paralysis. In fact, his health problems seem to have been the most important reason behind his release. According to a Swedish radio station, Larsson had also suffered brain damage a co
uple of months ago.
DAS did not give many details of the release, but it was confirmed that Swedish Ambassador to Colombia, Lenna Nordstron, received Larsson in person in Tierralta (Córdoba) and that his relatives especially asked the media to stay away until he fully recovers. In fact, since he was kidnapped there has been little information regarding his ordeal, since neither the Swedish government nor the Colombian one have referred to Larsson’s kidnapping.
Larsson, an engineer who worked for Skanska to build a hydroelectric plant in that province, is currently being taken care of in a private hospital in Montería, the capital of Córdoba. He was kidnapped alongside his Colombian wife, Diana Peña, who managed to escape shortly after they were taken hostages.
DAS argued in a press release that FARC had initially asked for a 5 million dollar ransom to free Larsson, but, according to the Swedish embassy, the guerrilla group has not received any money at all for releasing that kidnap victim.
Larsson was the only Swedish citizen kept hostage in the world and his ordeal was reported by the media in that country. Sweden has been described many times by the Colombian government as soft towards the atrocities the Farc have committed. Whereas in various countries the FARC are seen as a guerrilla group turned into a terrorist organization and behind the worst possible crimes, in many sectors of the Swedish society the rebel group is seen as a insurgency movement in charge of a legitimate fight against social injustice and an excluding society.
In various occasions, Colombian intelligence agencies have stated their concern because there has been proof, like e-mails in the computer of killed Farc leader Raúl Reyes, which indicate that Colombian guerrillas have traveled to Sweden as a refuge. A couple of years ago there was also controversy after it was denounced that the server of the website Anncol, close to the FARC, was based in Stockholm.