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| 4/23/2009 12:00:00 AM

How many hostages?

Last year millions of Colombians took to the streets to protest against hostage-taking by left-wing guerrillas, right-wing paramilitaries and common criminals in what has long been known as “the kidnap capital of the world”.

Some of the victims are politicians such as Ingrid Betancourt, held for six years by FARC guerrillas before being freed by the army last year. Most are ordinary citizens.
 
But is kidnapping as prevalent as many Colombians fear? The official figures show that 437 people were seized last year. That is down from 2,882 in 2002. Yet bizarrely, perhaps, a new study by the government of President Álvaro Uribe claims that there may be just 125 hostages still being held for ransom, be that pecuniary or political.
 
Read more here.
 
Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.
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EDICIÓN 1844

PORTADA

Francisco superstar

La esperada visita del papa a Colombia tiene tres dimensiones: una religiosa, una política y otra social. ¿Qué puede esperarse de la peregrinación del sumo pontífice?