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Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos emphasized at a press conference on July 4, that there was no direct foreign involvement of any kind in the operation. Minister of Defense Juan Manuel Santos, and Vice President Francisco Santos, in response to these claims, denied any payment. The minister of defense also added with a touch of irony that "Actually, it would have been a cheap offer, because we were willing to give up to USD 100 million..." "We would be the first to inform publicly, because it is part of our rewards system policy, and besides, it would speak much worse about the FARC".
According to Colombia's El Tiempo and W Radio, General Freddy Padilla de León, commander of the Colombian armed forces, denied the existence of any payment by the Colombian government.
Between this time and the actual mission, Colombian forces spotted five of the hostages while they were bathing in the Apaporis River (including the three Americans), leading them to plant motion-sensors and video cameras along the waterway.
At one point a FARC guerilla accidentally kicked a device while walking in the jungle to relieve himself; however, the surveillance operation's cover was not blown.
Santos said the FARC rebels had been tricked into handing over the hostages by soldiers posing as members of a fictitious non-government organisation that supposedly would fly the captives to a camp to meet rebel leader Alfonso Cano; Several aspects of the mission were apparently designed to mimic previous Venezuelan hostage transfers, including the actual composition of the group and the type and markings of the helicopters used.
According to Betancourt, the hostages were moved early on the morning of July 2 across the river to a landing zone where they were told by their captors that they were going to be moved to a different location.
Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos is said to have agreed quickly to the plan; President Álvaro Uribe, after weighing the possible diplomatic consequences, also approved it.
Betancourt, describing operation Jaque, said "I am unaware of a precedent to such a perfect mission.
Maybe only the Israelis…their wonderful commandos may be reminiscent of the mission that took place here." Immediately after the hostage rescue, Colombian military forces cornered the rest of FARC's 1st Front, the unit which had held the hostages captive.
On July 16, 2007, Colombian newsweekly Revista Semana published an online article stating that the International Humanitarian Mission NGO didn't exist, arguing that it was created by the Colombian military for the purposes of carrying out the rescue operation, and that its website used information from a real Barcelona-based organization, Global Humanitaria.
Semana cited a spokesperson for the Justice Department of Catalunya, Spain, who said that International Humanitarian Mission was never part of Catalunya's central register of legal entities.