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Colombia: DNA Tests Show Colombian Boy Related to Rebel Hostage


Colombian authorities say DNA tests indicate a three-year-old boy living in foster care is the child of a woman held captive by Colombian leftist rebels.

Officials said Friday that test results show there is a "high probability" that the boy, Emmanuel, is related to hostage and former Colombian vice presidential candidate Clara Rojas. She was kidnapped in 2002 by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

Authorities say the results also indicate the FARC misled international officials when they promised two weeks ago to release three hostages, including Rojas and Emmanuel, who was fathered by one of the captors.

A man named Jose Gomez is working with authorities, saying he received the boy from FARC rebels in 2005 before turning him over to child welfare agents. Gomez said the rebels threatened to kill him if he did not return the boy by December 30.

A team of international observers and Red Cross representatives was supposed to oversee the release of Rojas, Emmanuel and former lawmaker Consuelo Gonzalez in the jungles of Colombia.

The deal fell apart Monday after FARC leaders claimed that bad weather and Colombian military teams in the area were interfering with plans for the hostage handover. Colombian President Alvaro Uribe accused FARC leaders of lying.

Mr. Uribe had also raised the possibility that the rebels could not complete the handover because they were no longer holding the boy.

The FARC has demanded the release of hundreds of rebels held in Colombian prisons in return for freeing several high-profile hostages.

They hold more than 40 such hostages, including former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, kidnapped with Rojas in February 2002. The FARC also holds three American defense contractors. The guerrillas have been fighting the Colombian government for decades.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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