BOGOTA, Colombia -- Police have charged three people - including a former municipal judge and his wife -- with the kidnapping last March of Texaco executive Kenneth S. Bishop.
The head of the Bogota police department, Gen. Jorge E. Guerrero, said Tuesday former municipal judge Ivan Dario Murcia and his wife, Yolanda Umana, were arrested Monday night along with Guillermo Rojas.
Bishop, head of Texaco operations in Colombia, was abducted March 7 as he traveled to his Bogota office. He was released 38 days later for a reported $1 million ransom. The American's two bodyguards were killed during the incident, but Bishop, 57, of Huntington Beach, Calif., returned to the United States after his April 14 release.
The police chief said Bishop's identification of his abductors through photographs shown to him by the Colombian consulate in Miami led to the arrests.
Police agents also recovered $14,000 in U.S. currency and part of the $15,000 Bishop carried the day of his abduction.
Guerrero said the trio also could be responsible for the kidnap-murder of Gloria Lara de Echeverri, a government official abducted June 23, 1982. Her body was found on the steps of a church five months later.
Since Bishop's kidnapping, three other Americans have been abducted in Colombia.
On April 7, Catherine Woods Kirby, 63, was taken from her cattle ranch in Mapiripan, 200 miles southeast of Bogota.
U.S. and Colombian officials announced Monday the 63-year-old Mrs. Kirby, an American rancher and a native of Orlando, Fla., had not been freed by her captors, as previously announced.
Eight days later another American rancher, Russell Martin Standahl, 27, of Minneapolis, was kidnapped by a gang of armed men in the same vicinity as Mrs. Kirby's abduction.
His abductors, identified by authorities as members of the communist guerrilla group Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces, have demanded a $500,000 ransom.
The families of both Americans are still negotiating for their release.
Last week, American sculptress Corinne Hues, a native of Los Angeles who later lived in Superior, Wis., was abducted in Bogota after she had returned to live in Colombia, where she previously resided.
On Monday leaders of the leftist April 19 guerrilla organization (M-19) claimed responsibility for 50-year-old Ms. Hues' kidnapping and said she was being held in the jungle region of Caqueta in southwestern Colombia.
The M-19 guerrilla organization first appeared in January 1974 and in February 1980 took more than 50 hostages at a Bogota diplomatic reception, including ambassadors from the United States and 13 other countries, in a siege that lasted 61 days.