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US Indicts 6 Colombian Rebels on Murder Charges - 2002-04-30

A federal grand jury in Washington Tuesday indicted six members of Colombia's main rebel group for the 1999 murders of three Americans it took hostage.

Those indicted on murder and related charges are all members of Colombia's main rebel group known as the FARC or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. It was in February of 1999 that the three Americans, who were working on educational projects with an Indian tribe, were abducted and shot to death after ransom was refused.

"Today, the United States strikes back at the FARC's reign of terror against the United States and its citizens," he said. "Just as we fight terrorism in the mountains of South Asia, we will fight terror in our own hemisphere," said Attorney General John Ashcroft.

This is the second time in two months that a federal grand jury has handed down indictments against members of the FARC, which the United States lists as a terrorist organization. In March, three FARC members were charged with flying cocaine into the United States.

Colombian authorities have already convicted in absentia one of those indicted Tuesday. But given the country's on-going civil war, it's far from certain whether any of those facing charges will be found and extradited any time soon.