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DNA Testing, FARC Reveal Truth About Hostage


Colombian rebels have admitted they did not have a boy they promised to release last week with two other hostages.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) released a statement late Friday saying young Emmanuel had been turned over to a family in Bogota to keep him safe until his official release.

Earlier Friday, Colombian officials said DNA test results indicate the three-year-old boy is the son of one of the hostages - former Colombian vice presidential candidate Clara Rojas, who was kidnapped by FARC in 2002. Emmanuel was fathered by one of the guerrilla 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.

The FARC statement says it still plans to release the two hostages.

Authorities say the developments show that FARC misled international officials when the rebels promised two weeks ago to release three hostages, including Rojas and her son.

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.

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

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

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