RealNews

Travel Author Captured in Panama

The author of the travel book “The World’s Most Dangerous Places” was kidnapped with two other Americans near the Colombia-Panama border, police said Tuesday. Author Robert Young Pelton, 47, of Redondo Beach, Megan A. Smaker, 22, of Oakland and Mark Wedeven, whose hometown wasn’t released, were traveling Saturday through a lawless area used by Colombian guerrillas and paramilitary groups for drug and arms trafficking, authorities said. Pelton was researching a story for National Geographic’s Adventure Magazine. Smaker is a firefighter who was traveling on vacation, Pelton’s wife said. The three may have met in Panama City and shared a guide, she said. Pelton wrote the book on how to avoid such situations, but during a visit to Indian villages in Panama just north of the Colombian border, the group was captured after about 150 heavily armed invaders swept into the village. Full Story

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