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One million march in Colombian hostage solidarity rally, July 21, 2008

On Colombia’s independence day, over 900,000 marched in Bogota along Plaza Bolivar, dressed in white, to show solidarity with prisoners of the guerilla forces of the FARC.  The demonstrations were accompanied by similar displays in other cities, where native Colombian Shakira performed in Leticia, and in Paris, where former six-year FARC prisoner Ingrid Betancourt urged Alfonso Cano, the leader of FARC, to release more prisoners. The FARC, a 44 year old peasant insurgency, frequently uses kidnapping for the purposes of ransom and political leverage. It is estimated they have over 700 prisoners still in captivity, some of whom are prisoners for more than ten years.

News Stories:

"Colombians take to streets to protest kidnappings "
Reuters July 21, 2008
"Shakira leads kidnap protest "
The Scotsman July 21, 2008
"Betancourt in plea to Farc rebels "
BBC News (UK) July 21, 2008

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July 21, 2008