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U.S. judge kidnapped in Colombia by 'common criminals' rescued

By Andrew V. Pestano
U.S. judge kidnapped in Colombia by 'common criminals' rescued
Colombian security teams on Thursday rescued Benny Cornelio Osorio Mejía, center, a judge from the United States who was kidnapped while on vacation in Cartagena, from "common criminals," officials said. Photo courtesy of GAULA Policia

CARTAGENA, Colombia, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Benny Cornelio Osorio Mejía, a judge from the United States who was kidnapped while on vacation in Cartagena, has been rescued by Colombian security teams, Colombian Attorney General Néstor Humberto Martínez said.

The kidnappers, who took the U.S. judge last Friday, demanded a $33,000 ransom for Osorio Mejía's release.

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He was rescued in Cartagena's Daniel Lemetre neighborhood during an operation led by the National Department of Sections and Citizen Security with the support of Colombia's GAULA anti-terrorism unit.

Four people -- identified by officials as "common criminals" -- were arrested and several weapons were seized during the security operation.

"Welcome to liberty Mr. Benny Cornelio," GAULA said in a statement.

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