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Freed FARC hostages speak out

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Freed FARC hostages speak out


The two high-profile hostages released by Colombia’s FARC guerillas have been speaking publicly for the first time about their years in captivity. Clara Rojas was seized in February 2002 while she was campaigning to become the country’s vice-president.

She said: “At first sight, it seems they are a criminal organisation. They have kidnapped and murdered, that’s a Colombian reality.” And she added: “I feel sorry for those young compatriots who’ve been forced to make the wrong decisions.”

Also freed was the former Colombian congresswoman Consuelo Gonzalez, held by the guerillas for more than 6 years. Holding the 2 year old grandchild she had never seen, she told of how hostages live chained up in barbed-wire camps, and she spoke of her constant fear that she would be killed by bombs and bullets from Colombian air-force helicopters.

Among those still in captivity is the Franco-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, who was abducted along with Clara Rojas. Rojas, though, could provide no proof that the former presidential candidate was still alive.

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