Rebel commander: reporter's release running late

May 30, 2012
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A man shakes hands with guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) who manage a roadblock in San Isidro in southern Colombia, Wednesday, May 30, 2012. Journalist Romeo Langlois, who was taken by rebels on April 28 when they attacked troops he was accompanying on a cocaine-lab eradication mission, is expected to be handed over by the rebels to a delegation that includes another French journalist in San Isidro. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — A top Colombian rebel commander has appeared in the southern hamlet where French journalist Romeo Langlois is due to be released and says the operation is running late.

Jairo Martinez blames heavy rains in recent days. He is regional coordinator for the southern bloc of The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

The delegation that is to receive the journalist arrived earlier than expected. It consists of the International Red Cross, a French diplomat and a Colombian ex-senator.

A public address system played rebel songs as hundreds of peasants of converged on the hamlet of San Isidro for Wednesday's planned handover.

Langlois fell into rebel hands April 28 while accompanying government troops on a cocaine lab-destruction mission.