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The celebrations were also overshadowed by a claim that a $20m (£10m) ransom was paid and that the audacious rescue was to some extent stage-managed. Washington, Paris and Bogotá denied the allegation.
Doubts about the official version of the rescue surfaced in Switzerland where a public radio station quoted an unidentified source - who was "close to the events, reliable and tested many times in recent years" - saying that $20m was paid to the guerrillas. "It was not a negotiation with the Farc directly but with a person who is very important in that organisation, commander César," Frederich Blassel, a journalist with the Swiss station, told Colombian radio. The report suggested that a wife of one of the guards - possibly César - had acted as a go-between after being arrested by the security forces.
The Colombian armed forces commander, Fredy Padilla, said Bogotá made no payment. "I deny that the government of Colombia has paid a single cent for this operation. It would be more beneficial to me that alias César would have received $20m because that would be even more devastating for the Farc," Padilla said