Colombia

    The families of three U.S. citizens held by Marxist guerrillas in Colombia for almost five years are now counting on South America’s most anti-U.S. leader to win their freedom. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez plans to meet this week with the hostage-takers, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by its Spanish initials FARC, to discuss the captives. The three were U.S. Defense Department contractors working on a USD 7.5 billion U.S.-funded program to combat the cultivation of cocaine-producing coca, which the FARC uses to finance its operations. (Bloomberg)

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