Colombian rebels provide pickup coordinates for 2 hostages, Chavez says

Colombian rebels on Wednesday provided a pickup location for two hostages they have held for years, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said, and the Colombian government gave him the green light to launch a rescue mission. Chavez said the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, sent him the coordinates to pick up Clara Rojas - an aide to former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt -and former congresswoman Consuelo Gonzalez. "This morning we received the coordinates there in the Colombian mountains where Clara and Consuelo are," Chavez said during a televised speech. "Hopefully, Clara and Consuelo will be free in the coming hours." Colombia's government responded promptly, saying it was agreeing to the mission. Peace Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo said his government would "provide all the necessary guarantees" so the hostages can "return home as soon as possible." He said the mission would be overseen by the International Committee of the Red Cross.