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Colombia rejects future hostage rescues

Jan. 8, 2008 at 2:17 AM

BOGOTA, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Colombia will not allow other countries to help secure the release of hostages held by leftist rebels after an effort by Venezuela failed last month.

Colombian Foreign Minister Fernando Araujo said Venezuela's effort to secure the release of three hostages showed that other nations are not familiar with the ongoing battle between the government and the rebels, El Tiempo newspaper reported online Tuesday.

Venezuelan helicopters were set to pick up three detainees held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces for Colombia, or FARC, though the rebels reportedly did not tell Venezuelan officials where they could pick up the hostages.

Venezuela has played an integral role in trying to recover the three hostages -- including Clara Rojas, a one-time aide to fellow detainee, Ingrid Betancourt, who was running for Colombia's presidency at the time of her capture in 2002.

FARC rebels have been battling the Colombian government for more than 40 years.

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