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| 2/9/2009 12:00:00 AM

Colombia: A Make-Over for Stumbling Rebels

Feb 09 -- Colombia's Marxist guerrillas probably rue the day they kidnapped state legislator Sigifredo Lopez and his colleagues.

Disguised as police agents, the rebels stormed a government building in the southern city of Cali in 2002, announced a bomb threat and then herded a dozen lawmakers, including Lopez, aboard a bus and drove them into the mountains. But the operation ended up in one of the ghastliest blunders of Colombia's four-decade-long civil war. In June 2007, guerrilla guards mistakenly thought they were under attack by the army and, in a panic, executed 11 of the hostages. Lopez alone survived the massacre because he was being held in solitary confinement in another part of the rebel camp.

Lopez, 45, was finally freed on Thursday, almost seven years after his abduction. All told, the guerrillas, the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC), got nothing out of the Cali operation — and they finally seem to have come to the conclusion that their decade-long orgy of political hostage-taking has gotten them nowhere.
 
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EDICIÓN 1834

PORTADA

El peligro inminente de los otros grupos violentos

La bomba del Andino deja claro que terminada la guerra con las Farc aún quedan otros grupos armados. ¿Cuáles son y qué peligro representan?