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Colombian Man Treks Across Country to Free Kidnapped Son


A Colombian man whose son was kidnapped a decade ago by rebels is set to reach the capital, Bogota, this week, ending an almost 1,000-kilometer walk to urge the captive's release.

Gustavo Moncayo has hiked across half of Colombia since June, to gain support for a prisoner exchange between the government and leftist rebel forces.

Guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) captured Moncayo's son, Pablo Emilio, during a 1997 attack on an army post. He was about 19 at the time.

Gustavo Moncayo has become a fixture on the national news, and is a hero to thousands of families of kidnap victims since starting his crusade in June.

He says he will camp in Bogota's central plaza until the government agrees to exchange imprisoned rebels for his son and other high-value hostages kept by the rebels.

Colombia has one of the world's highest kidnapping rates. Currently more than 3,000 people are believed to be in captivity in the Andean nation.

Earlier this month, thousands of Colombians took to the streets to protest the killing of 11 local provincial lawmakers in a (FARC) rebel prison.

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