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Fernando Arujo free after more than six years in captivity

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Fernando Arujo free after more than six years in captivity

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A former Colombian government minister, kidnapped by leftist rebels in 2000, waves to waiting journalists after apparently giving his captors the slip. Fernando Arujo says he managed to flee when the army launched a helicopter attack on his jungle prison in the north of the country. He was one of dozens of high profile hostages held by the FARC guerrillas. At a press conference, Arujo, who hid in the jungle for five days before being found by an army patrol, said he had faith that all those still being held would soon be freed.

FARC, which stands for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, claims to be fighting to reduce the gap between rich and poor. It’s been using personalities like Arujo to try to negotiate a prisoner exchange with the government. But three months ago Colombia’s president, Alvaro Uribe, ordered the army to rescue hostages. Six guerrillas were killed in the operation that lead to Arujo’s escape.