2 Colombian Hostages Freed

Red Cross helicopters carrying pair to Caracas
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2008 11:21 AM CST
Venezuelan helicopters take off from the airstrip at the airport in San Jose del Guaviare in southern Colombia, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008, to pick up two women who were kidnapped by rebels of the Revolutionary...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Colombian rebels have released two women hostages, Hugo Chavez said in a press conference today, as Red Cross helicopters were flying the freed Colombians to Caracas. The women, both held in the jungle for years, are Consuelo Gonzalez, a politician, and Clara Rojas, an aide to former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt. Betancourt  remains one of 700 captives still held by FARC, a group of the Marxist insurgents.

An earlier attempt by Chavez to broker a release, which was to include Rojas' three-year-old son Emmanuel, fell through on New Year’s Eve, after Emmanuel turned out to be in foster care in Bogota. The US and the EU both classify FARC a terrorist organization; the group has been trying to overthrow the Colombian government since the 1960s.