Hostages | 2/5/2009 12:00:00 AM
Sigifredo López is free, the wait is over
At 2:05 p.m Thursday, the Brazilian helicopter landed in Cali (Valle del Cauca) and López finally met his wife and two sons. After 6 years, 10 months and 24 days away, the deputy is back home.
This politician is the only member of the 12 provincial deputies of Valle del Cauca abducted by Farc which has survived. The other eleven were murdered by the guerrilla group.
On April 11 2002, 20 FARC guerrillas suddenly appeared in the Valle Province Assembly building. They had disguised themselves as army officers and asked 12 provincial deputies to evacuate the building. They all got on a bus and when the vehicle was running they were told the truth: they were now FARC hostages.
Among the deputies was Sigifredo López, born in Pradera (Valle del Cauca province) in 1963, son of Nelly Tobón, husband to Patricia Nieto and father of Lucas Guillermo and Sergio Alejandro.
López, who is a lawyer, a specialist in Administrative Law and has a Master degree in Criminology, is an experienced politician in his region. He had been councilor and mayor in Florida (also in Valle, and one of the two towns the FARC have asked the government to demilitarize in order to negotiate a humanitarian exchange), and later became provincial deputy.
López’ political life abruptly stopped in April 2002, alongside the lives of his fellow deputies. Eleven of them were killed by FARC on 18th June 2007 and it is still not all completely clear why López was not with them at the moment.