News / Americas

    Colombia's FARC Rebels Execute 4 Captives

    Relatives of slain hostage Elkin Hernandez embrace at his family home in Bogota, Colombia, November 26, 2011.
    Relatives of slain hostage Elkin Hernandez embrace at his family home in Bogota, Colombia, November 26, 2011.

    Colombia's government said Saturday the country's main rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, (FARC) executed four security force members who were captured more than a decade ago.

     

    Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said the hostages were killed during a mission to free them.  He said all four men were shot -- three with shots to the head and one with two shots to the back.  Among them was the longest-held captive, Sergeant Major Jose Libio Martinez, who was seized by the rebels almost 14 years ago.
    Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said the murders were another demonstration of the FARC's cruelty.  He called the killings "an atrocious crime."
    Troops launched the operation in southern Caqueta province 45 days ago after a tip that the captives were being held in the area.
    The incident took place less than two weeks after FARC rebels named Timoleon Jimenez, better known as Timochenko, as their new leader.
    Timochenko replaced former FARC leader Alfonso Cano, who was killed November 4 in a battle with government troops.  Cano had led the group since 2008.
    ((REST OPT))
    FARC rebels have been at war with the Columbian government since the 1960s.  Their numbers have dwindled over the years, but some analysts estimate the group has as many as 9,000 fighters.
    Most of FARC's funding comes from cocaine trafficking and extortion, but the leftist rebels are believed to be holding at least 14 people for ransom or political leverage.
    FARC has been designated as a terrorist organization by Colombia, the United States and the European Union.

    Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said the hostages were killed during a mission to free them.  He said all four men were shot; three with shots to the head and one with two shots to the back.

    Among them was the longest-held captive, Sergeant Major Jose Libio Martinez, who was seized by the rebels almost 14 years ago.

    Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said the murders were another demonstration of the FARC's cruelty.  He called the killings "an atrocious crime."

    Troops launched the operation in southern Caqueta province 45 days ago after a tip that the captives were being held in the area.

    The incident took place less than two weeks after FARC rebels named Timoleon Jimenez, better known as Timochenko, as their new leader.

    Timochenko replaced former FARC leader Alfonso Cano, who was killed November 4 in a battle with government troops.  Cano had led the group since 2008.

    FARC rebels have been at war with the Columbian government since the 1960s. Their numbers have dwindled over the years, but some analysts estimate the group has as many as 9,000 fighters.

    Most of FARC's funding comes from cocaine trafficking and extortion, but the leftist rebels are believed to be holding at least 14 people for ransom or political leverage. 
    FARC has been designated as a terrorist organization by Colombia, the United States and the European Union.

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

    You May Like

    Ethiopia's Anti-terrorism Law: Security or Silencing Dissent?

    Yonatan Tesfaye was detained in December 2015 on charges under Ethiopia's Anti-Terrorism Proclamation; eleven statements from his Facebook page were used as evidence

    Egypt Orders Trial for Journalists Charged With Harboring Reporters

    Order targets journalists' union chief Yehia Qalash, Khaled al-Balshy and Gamal Abdel Rahim for allegedly spreading false news, harboring fugitive colleagues

    Nigerian Oil Production Falls as Militant Attacks Take Toll

    Country no longer Africa's petroleum king due to renewed militancy in its oil-producing region

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahdai
    X
    Lisa Schlein
    May 31, 2016 1:56 PM
    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahda

    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Mobile App Allows Dutch Muslims to Rate their Imams

    If a young Dutch-Moroccan app developer has his way, Muslims in the Netherlands will soon be able to rate their imams online. Mohamed Mouman says imams rarely get feedback from their followers. He believes his app can give prayer leaders a better picture of what's happening in their communities — and can also keep young people from being radicalized. Serginho Roosblad reports from Amsterdam.
    Video

    Video Moscow Condemns NATO Plans to Beef Up Defense in Eastern Europe, Baltics

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday an upcoming "landmark summit" will enhance the alliance's defensive and deterrent presence in eastern Europe and the Baltics. He is visiting Poland ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Zlatica Hoke reports
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video F-35 Fighter Jet Draws Criticisms as Costs Mount

    America’s latest fighter plane, the F-35, has been mired in controversy. Critics cite cost, faulty design, and the attempt to use it to fill multiple roles. Even the pilot’s helmet is controversial. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Concerns Over Civilian Suffering as Iraqi Forces Surround Fallujah

    Thousands of residents are trapped inside the IS-held city ahead of a full scale Iraqi offensive aimed at retaking it.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Peru: Thousands Protest Presidential Candidate Fujimori

    Keiko Fujimori, 41, has tried to distance herself from her father by promising not to revive his hardline methods

    Kidnapped Mexican Football Star Rescued

    Alan Pulido was abducted by gunmen outside his home town of Ciudad Victoria as he left a party

    Hundreds of Thousands of Brazilians Hold Gay Rights Parade

    Gay rights advocates in Brazil are pushing the congress to pass a law allowing Brazilians to legally identify themselves as the gender of their choice

    Haiti Braces for Trouble as Election Panel Report Is Due

    Haitians are preparing for trouble as electoral verification commission is due to deliver results of its monthlong review of last year's contested presidential and legislative elections

    Brazil Launches Manhunt for Alleged Gang Rapists

    Police identifies four of 30 suspects who gang raped teenager and posted video online

    'El Chapo' Lawyers Split on Extradition Case

    Lawyers can't agree on staving off extradition to US