January 7, 2008

FARC lied in Emmanuel kidnap

Colombia called on leftist guerrillas to unconditionally free hostages after saying the rebels lied in an "incoherent" way about the whereabouts of a young boy they promised to free last month. Emmanuel, a 3- or 4-year-old child born to a kidnapped mother and a guerrilla father in a secret jungle camp, was to be turned over by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in a rescue mission sponsored by neighboring Venezuela.

The plan crumbled on New Year's Eve as the FARC blamed Colombian army operations for disrupting the hand-over. The government called that charge a lie and announced the boy had not been in FARC custody since 2005 but was instead living in a Bogota foster home. The FARC in turn admitted it did not have the boy and accused the government of snatching him to scuttle the hand-over mission and discredit the four-decade-old guerrilla army. The FARC is a terrorist group, also dedicated to illegal activities like narcotics trade, kidnapping and paid killings. FARC must be isolated and destroyed.

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