Three American hostages rescued from their FARC captors have landed on home soil. Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes and Keith Stansell arrived at a military base in San Antonio, Texas shortly before midnight local time.
They were working as US defence department contractors on a counter-narcotics mission in 2003 when their plane crashed in the Colombian jungle. They were the longest-held American hostages in the world.
Goncalves’ father spoke of his joy: “You know what a way to celebrate the 4th of July. This is the best, you know, this is the best. This is what this country is all about, you know. I’m excited, very excited, very happy.”
From the airport the three were taken to an army medical centre. The US ambassador to Colombia says two of them are suffering from the jungle skin disease Leishmaniasis and are “looking forward to modern medical treatment.”