Colombia: December 9, 2003


Several dozen relatives of kidnapped victims entered the cathedral in the capital and said they would occupy the place until the government got the rebels to free the captives. FARC and ELN are willing to release the thousands of people they are currently holding if the government would cede control of thousands of square miles of territory, as "liberated zones", to the rebels and drug cartels that provide the rebels with most of their income. The government refuses to do that. But the families of the kidnap victims (which include senior politicians, policemen and soldiers) want their kin back. Some of the families are willing to give the rebels whatever they want (including control over large chunks of the country), while others call for UN intervention and more negotiations with the rebels. Most Colombians prefer to go after the rebels with the army and police, because in the past, negotiations collapsed when the rebels reneged on agreements.




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