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Ex-FARC hostage and Columbian leader embrace

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Ex-FARC hostage and Columbian leader embrace


Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and former FARC hostage Clara Rojas have embraced publicly for the first time, two weeks after she was released. Rojas appeared on the steps of the Moncloa Palace in Madrid after Uribe and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero held a joint press conference.

She and fellow hostage Consuelo Gonsalez were freed on January 10.

Rojas was an aide to the French-Colombian Presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt. The two were seized together in February 2002, but Betancourt remains in captivity in the jungle.

While Rojas was in Madrid, another freed hostage Consuelo Gonzalez led a march through her home town of Neiva in Colombia to draw attention to the plight of the 700 hostages still being held.

An estimated five thousand demonstrators carried white balloons and pictures of their relatives believed to be in captivity.

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