Colombia’s FARC Release Hostages Held for 12 Years
April 3, 2012 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — Colombia’s Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerillas released 10 soldiers and police officers on Monday who they had held captive for at least 12 years. The release of the hostages is a seen a move by Latin America’s oldest guerrilla movement to start peace talks with the Colombian government. The FARC announced plans to liberate the hostages on Feb. 26 and promised a halt in ransom kidnappings as a revenue source. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos did not immediately respond to the release. The hostages were flown to the eastern Colombian city of Villavicencio from a jungle rendezvous in a loaned Brazilian helicopter emblazoned with the Red Cross logo. They were united with their loved ones in a private area before the group was flown to Bogotá, where other relatives were waiting.
Read More From The Detroit Free Press.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Monday rounded up more than 3,100 immigrants with criminal and civil violations in its largest operation ever.
- A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Mexico on Monday, but no injuries were reported.
- Mexican kingpin Benjamin Arellano Felix was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Monday for leading a Tijuana-based drug cartel accused of killing Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo, among others.
- Haitian senator Félix Bautista, a political ally of Haitian President Michel Martelly and Dominican President Leonel Fernández, is under investigation in Haiti for winning lucrative contracts for his companies after the earthquake.
- Former NBA player Jose Ortiz-Rijos was sent to prison in his native Puerto Rico for growing marijuana.
- El Salvador’s Attorney General’s office ordered the arrest of eight soldiers and a civilian for allegedly running an arms trafficking ring with drug gangs in Guatemala and Honduras.
- One bomb exploded and another was found but did not go off at a gas station in El Salvador on Sunday, causing damage but no reported injuries.
- Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa said he would not attend the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, in order to protest Cuba’s exclusion.
- Peru’s Constitutional Tribunal will rule in two months on the controversial Newmont Mining Corp.’s controversial Conga gold and copper mine project, which was banned by the government of Cajamarca.
- In an effort to control inflation, the Venezuelan government introduced new price controls on consumer goods like diapers, bottled water, juice and toilet paper.
- Argentina and Britain marked the 30th anniversary of the 74-day war over the Falkland Islands, with Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner traveling to Ushuaia to dedicate a memorial to soldiers who died in the war.
- Thousands of Chileans rallied on the streets Friday to support the family of Daniel Zamudio, a young gay man whose murder by neo-Nazis has highlighted the need for an anti-discrimination law in Chile.
- Argentina’s Susana Trimarco has helped rescue 129 girls and women sold into sex trafficking and has made hundreds of other investigations possible after her daughter Marita was kidnapped in 2002.