Rebels Give Terms of Releasing Americans

Colombian rebels announced they will release three Americans captured a week ago if the Colombian government sets free dozens of jailed rebels and grants them a demilitarized zone.

But the families of other rebel captives warn not to expect such an exchange any time soon. Lucrecia Torres knows all too well that it may be months, or even years, before the three Americans whose plane went down in rebel territory are freed. Her own son has been held by the same rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, for almost six years. Torres’ son, Wargner Tapias, was captured by the rebels in May 1997 while serving as a lieutenant in the Colombian Army. “Be patient,” read the last letter Torres received from her son, 10 days before last Christmas. Torres says she learned to wait a long time ago. Tapias is one of Colombia’s “exchangeables,” the name given to a group of 45 soldiers and police officers and two dozen kidnapped politicians the FARC wants to exchange for their imprisoned comrades. Full Story

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