Leftist rebels blockaded roads and seized several motorists as hostages, stepping up actions following the collapse of peace talks, authorities said Wednesday. Violence around the South American nations surged after President Andres Pastrana broke off talks and ordered a military offensive against the rebels. The president was retaliating for the hijacking of an airliner and the kidnapping of a senator on Feb. 20. The Catholic Church decried the upsurge in recent violence. “We see our country as morally sick,” Monsignor Alberto Giraldo, president of the church`s governing Episcopal Conference, told a gathering of bishops. Full Story
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