Colombia: Rebels still holding hostages

May 16, 2005 at 8:18 AM

BOGOTA, May 16 (UPI) -- Numerous hostages captured over the years by Colombia's leading rebel group are still alive, the leadership says.

Among those still in the hands of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, are politicians like former presidential hopeful Ingrid Betancourt, who was captured while on the campaign trail in February 2002, El Tiempo reported Monday.

The FARC uses ransom and the lucrative drug trade to finance its armed opposition to the Colombian government.

Colombia has been battling FARC for more than 40 years.

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