Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia

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Colombia Ushers in Ceasefire That Was 52 Years in Coming

FARC-government peace took hold at 12:01am

(Newser) - The stroke of 12:01am on Monday brought a nascent peace to Colombia that was more than a half-century in the making . A bloody war between Bogota and the FARC rebels claimed more than 220,000 lives, reports the AP , but "never again will parents be burying their sons... More »

Deal Will End 52-Year War, but Hurdles Remain

FARC, Colombian government made major announcement Wednesday

(Newser) - Its 52-year span makes it the Americas' "longest-running war," reports the New York Times , and after four years of negotiations, it will come to an end, at least assuming all goes according to plan. Colombia's government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or the FARC, on... More »

FARC Calls Unilateral Ceasefire

As a sign of goodwill ahead of peace talks

(Newser) - FARC declared a unilateral ceasefire in its ongoing war against the Colombian government as a sign of goodwill ahead of the peace talks that begin today in Cuba. The Marxist rebels have pledged to stop all military operations until Jan. 20, CNN reports. The government hasn't said if it... More »

Colombia Kills FARC Leader in Bombing Raid

President hails death of Alfonso Cano as huge blow against rebels

(Newser) - The head of Colombia's FARC rebels was killed in a military bombing yesterday, the latest blow to Latin America's last major rebel group, reports the AP . "The fingerprints matched," said a senior official, calling the raid a "standard military operation." President Juan Manuel Santos... More »

Colombia Has Been Using US Drones Since 2006

Planes have been used to fight drug traffickers, terrorists

(Newser) - US spy drones have been in the skies over Colombia scouting for drug traffickers and guerrillas since 2006, a newly released State Department cable reveals. The drones were initially sent out to “support hostage rescue efforts,” reads the cable from the then-ambassador to Colombia, “But it promises... More »

Colombia Kills FARC's No. 2

Many think strike will pull rebels back to talks

(Newser) - Colombia has killed FARC's No. 2 leader and longtime military commander, striking what President Juan Manuel Santos today called "the most crushing blow against the FARC in its entire history"—a 46-year-long struggle. Colombia's military began raining bombs on a major FARC base Monday, followed by ground combat... More »

3 FARC Hostages Rescued in Colombian Raid

(Newser) - Colombian security forces have rescued two senior police officers and a soldier who had been held hostage by Marxist rebels for almost 12 years. Gen. Luis Mendieta, Col. Enrique Murillo and Sgt. Arbey Delgado were freed from a guerrilla camp in Guaviare in a raid by some 300 troops. Patrols... More »

Colombian Rebels Kill Governor

Kidnap victim Cuellar found with throat cut

(Newser) - A Colombian provincial governor snatched from his home Monday has been found dumped dead on a country road. Police believe leftist guerrillas cut Luis Francisco Cuellar's throat as they fled from security forces. Rebels dressed in military uniforms killed one policeman and wounded two others when they seized Cuellar from... More »

Venezuela Arming FARC Rebels: Stolen Emails

(Newser) - Despite frequent denials by President Hugo Chavez, it seems Venezuela is still arming Colombian rebels on the sly, the New York Times reports. Computer files captured from FARC rebels reveal Venezuela's efforts to get them missiles, sniper rifles, radios, and Venezuelan identity cards. This after Chavez froze relations with Colombia... More »

FARC Captive Recalls Horror of Jungle Birth

Rojas gave birth in captivity, then had son taken away

(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,"... More »

Betancourt Back in Colombia for Anti-FARC Tour

Ex-hostage aims to disarm rebels; some see only her ambition

(Newser) - Former FARC hostage Ingrid Betancourt returned to Colombia yesterday to kick off a tour aimed at getting the rebels to disarm, AFP reports. "I am so very happy to be here," said Betancourt, who has received death threats from FARC and will keep her Colombia visit brief. She... More »

Betancourt: Pope, Faith Saved Me

Ex-hostage thanks pontiff for support during 7-year captivity

(Newser) - Ingrid Betancourt realized her dreams today when she met privately with Pope Benedict, Reuters reports. The freed French-Colombian hostage says she was overcome with emotion after hearing the pope appeal for her release on the radio during her 7 years in captivity. The 46-year-old Catholic had never read the Bible—... More »

1M-Plus March for Colombian Hostages

Cities across the globe show support for captives

(Newser) - More than a million people marched in Bogota, Columbia and other world capitals today demanding the freedom of captives held hostage by leftist rebels in the Columbian jungle, AFP reports. Recently liberated captive Ingrid Betancourt led chants of "No More hostages" in Paris on Columbia's independence day, as famous... More »

Freed US Hostages Bare Brutal Life With 'Animals'

Captives chained by the neck

(Newser) - Three freed American hostages who spent more than five years as captives of Colombian guerrillas paint a harrowing picture of their treatment in a CNN interview. Keith Stansell, Marc Gonsalves and Thomas Howes, rescued last week, spent much of their time in captivity chained by the neck, and were subjected... More »

FARC Will Punish Remaining Captives: Ex-Hostage

US contractors rescued from Colombian rebels speak to press

(Newser) - Speaking to the media for the first time since his rescue Wednesday, a former FARC captive warned that remaining hostages would face retribution over the escape, CNN reports. “Right now, they're being punished because we got rescued,” said US government contractor Marc Gonsalves. They’ll be made to... More »

Rebel Bomb Revenge Plot Foiled in Colombia

Explosives planned for Bogota: authorities

(Newser) - The Colombian army seized nearly a ton of explosives near Bogota, foiling a bomb plot by the rebel group known as FARC, according to authorities. Military officials suspect a series of bomb attacks were planned across the capital in the next few days in retaliation for the recent high-profile rescue... More »

Betancourt Arrives in Paris

Sarkozy welcomes freed hostage home

(Newser) - Ingrid Betancourt returned to France today after 6 years in captivity in Colombia, CNN reports. "I have been dreaming for 7 years for this moment," the French-Colombian politician said at Villacoublay airport outside Paris. "I owe everything to France. You all shared my despair, my family's despair.... More »

Freed Hostages Back in US

Contractors flown to medical centers for tests, reunions

(Newser) - Three American hostages are back on US soil today for the first time in five years, CNN reports, after a late-night landing at an Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas. The men were taken to an Army medical center, where, after undergoing tests and debriefings, they are expected to... More »

Sun Setting on FARC Rebellion

Key link to past now dead, and Colombia's efforts at last paying off against rebels

(Newser) - FARC chief Manuel Marulanda’s death might not be a fatal blow to Colombia's Marxist rebels, but the Economist sees an organization on the way out anyway. In its mid-'90s heyday, FARC boasted a force of 19,000 soldiers that threatened Bogota, the capital; today, the group is fragmented, with... More »

Colombian Rebel Leader Rumored Dead

'Sure Shot' founded Marxist FARC more than 40 years ago

(Newser) - Columbian rebel leader Manuel Marulanda Velez is dead, according to an interview with an official in a weekly magazine, AFP reports. The elusive FARC leader, known as “Sure Shot,” helped start the Marxist rebel group in the 1960s to battle Colombia's conservative government. He was rumored to have... More »

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