Eight captives left behind with Colombian rebels describe a miserable existence chained by the neck and suffering excruciating diseases in letters carried out last week by two freed hostages. One weakened captive, a police officer, describes "dragging myself " through the jungle "with only my arms because I couldn't stand up." A man he has been chained to could "die any moment" because parasites have infected his brain, he writes.
The letters were delivered to relatives by two women freed in a rescue mission launched by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The eight captives are among 44 that FARC rebels hope to swap for jailed comrades. "They need to be freed now," said the daughter of the police officer, whose wife added: "I've been crying so much my eyes are inflamed,"