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Monday, December 31, 2007
By Steven L. Taylor

Sadly, as I feared (via the BBC): Colombian hostage release halted

A Venezuelan-led mission to free three hostages held by Colombian left-wing Farc rebels has been suspended.

The rebels said the planned release was not possible because of government military operations, according to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

But the Colombian president Alvaro Uribe said no new operations were under way and that the rebels may not be in possession of one of the hostages.

And this is an odd twist:

But President Uribe accused the rebels of lying, and said the boy may actually be in a children’s home in the Colombian capital, Bogota.

“The Farc can’t keep the promise to free the hostages because they no longer have the child, Emmanuel, in their power,” he said.

President Uribe has asked relatives of Ms Rojas for DNA samples to prove that a three-year-old boy in the Colombian capital is really the missing Emmanuel.

If true, how did Uribe find out and when?

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One Response to “FARC Hostage Hand-Over Suspended”

  1. PoliBlog ™: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Child Set to be Released by FARC Appears Not in Their Custody Says:

    [...] The bizarre twist in the FARC hostage release story continues to deepen. Via WaPoColombia: Child Born to Hostage Is Not With FARC The Uribe administration said it is hoping to scientifically match DNA from the boy, who is being closely guarded by child protection authorities in Bogota, with samples from the family of Clara Rojas, a kidnapped politician who is believed to have given birth in a rebel camp in 2004. A rebel commander is reportedly the father. […] After the government received a tip about the boy’s real whereabouts, authorities began to go through the records of about 100 children who had been turned over to child protection services in southern Colombia in 2005. They quickly narrowed their search to three boys and, by Friday, felt that they had located Emmanuel, now bearing a different name. Santos and the other official said the boy they found had suffered an injury at birth, the same kind of injury that the escaped police officer reported Emmanuel had suffered. The boy had burn marks on one hand, a wound that Emmanuel also had. He also had suffered from jungle maladies, including malaria and leishmaniasis, which are unheard of in this chilly capital 8,000 feet above sea level. “The coincidences are many,” Santos said. “When we saw that the information coincided, well that gives us a certain level of confidence that the hypothesis that they didn’t have the boy was true.” The defense minister also said that the man who turned the boy over to authorities in 2005, whom he identified as Jos┬┐ Gomez, had gone back to child protection authorities in recent days to try to retrieve the boy. On Tuesday morning, the officials said, Gomez confessed to prosecutors in San Jose del Guaviare that the FARC had turned the boy over to him in 2005. Claiming to be the uncle of the boy’s mother, he had then given the boy to authorities. [...]


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