FARC Captive Recalls Horror of Jungle Birth

Rojas gave birth in captivity, then had son taken away
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2009 11:01 AM CDT
Clara Rojas, the hostage released by leftist rebels, with her son at a foster home in Bogota last year.   (AP Photo/Family Welfare Institute, HO)
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(Newser) – Clara Rojas was one of many prisoners who endured the misery of the Colombian jungle during her 6 years as a hostage of the FARC. But in 2003 her ordeal became almost unbearable: She discovered she was pregnant by one of her captors. "I knew I could die," said Rojas, who describes the 36-hour jungle birth of her son, Emmanuel, in an interview with the Sunday Times.

Rojas had lost so much weight in the jungle that she had to deliver her child by caesarean section, helped by a nurse whose only experience was with cows. At 8 months her son was taken from her, and in desperation she went on multiple hunger strikes. Freed in 2008, she was reunited with Emmanuel and is trying to live a normal life. "Of course I don't justify kidnapping, but I have to forgive," said Rojas. "I believe in its healing power."