Video: The Colombia hostage rescue

Not a word of it’s in English but that’s no barrier in this case. Just watch their expressions. The most ingenious part? The camera here was actually part of the deception:

Presenting the video at a news conference, Santos said that Wednesday’s elaborate ruse intentionally mimicked two hostage handovers brokered by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez earlier this year, when Venezuelan helicopters carrying International Red Cross observers picked up six hostages.

“In the last two handovers of hostages,” Santos told reporters, “there was always a cameraman sent by Chavez.”

The three-minute video presented at Colombia’s military headquarters showed the mission was modeled after the Venezuelan operations down to the red T-shirt worn by a supposed journalist, who poses questions to a rebel while hostages’ hands are bound with plastic handcuffs.

Follow the link and note the detail about acting lessons, right down to practicing different accents. I saw a report somewhere yesterday claiming that this was all a set-up to provide cover for a multimillion-dollar ransom payment from the Colombian government to FARC, but if so, it’s news to the ringleader “Cesar”: According to his lawyer he’s in a Bogota jail right now, having received a black eye and various “injections” while on the chopper. Exit question: It sure does feel like an Israeli operation, doesn’t it? Hmmm.