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FARC Rebel Gets 27 Years in US Prison for Hostage-Taking

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Colombian Forces Kill 12 Leftist Rebels in Raid

Colombian Forces Kill 12 Leftist Rebels in Raid

A U.S. judge has sentenced a member of Colombia's FARC rebel group to 27 years in prison for his role in the 2003 kidnapping of three Americans whose plane crash-landed in Colombia.

In a statement Friday, the U.S. Justice Department said Alexander Beltran Herrera was responsible for moving the three hostages and keeping them imprisoned for part of their five years in captivity. He had pleaded guilty to three counts of hostage-taking in March.

U.S. Attorney for Washington, D.C., Ronald Machen said Beltran Herrera's extradition, prosecution and incarceration "should chasten terrorists who doubt our resolve to serve justice on those who harm American citizens on foreign soil."

The three male hostages were rescued in 2008 in the Colombian military operation that also freed former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt.

Two others from their plane — another American man and a Colombian national — were murdered by the FARC near the crash site.