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7/30/2009 : Four Colombian ex-hostages arrive in France to study the French language.

Four Colombians, ex-hostages of the FARC guerrilla movement, will arrive in France this Saturday to study the French language. According to colleagues of Ingrid Betancourt who was liberated in July 2008, this will take place in accordance with the terms of a promise made by France following Ingrid’s liberation.

7/29/2009 : FARC propose a ‘major national peace accord’

The guerrilla movement FARC recently sent a letter to the group known as‘Colombians for Peace’ in which they request a ‘Major National Peace Accord’ which will reject the military agreements signed with the United States. This letter comes soon after their denunciation in a recent press release of the use of Colombian military bases by the US army.

7/29/2009 : Chavez freezes ties with Colombia

President Hugo Chávez has recalled Venezuela's ambassador from Colombia and frozen diplomatic relations in a row over weapons supplied to Colombian guerrillas.

7/28/2009 : FARC armed with Swedish weapons

Colombia's biggest rebel group FARC is armed with Swedish-made rocket launchers, several media report. President Alvaro Uribe calls on weapon manufacturing countries to prevent arms ending up in FARC hands.

7/27/2009 : US use of Colombian bases fuels regional tension: analysts

An agreement allowing US forces to use three Colombian military bases for South American anti-drug operations has heightened tensions between Bogota and its neighbors, and highlighted Washington's diplomatic difficulties in the area.

7/26/2009 : At least 16 FARC rebels killed in Colombia bombing

At least 16 Marxist FARC guerrillas were killed in Colombia in the final hours of an air force bombing of a rebel jungle camp in the center of the country, a military spokesman told AFP Saturday.

7/24/2009 : 32,000 victims in Medellín are still waiting for reparation from ‘don Berna’.

Diego Fernando Murillo, alias ‘don Berna’, was set to be extradited on May 13th 2008 to the United States. One month earlier from the public gallery in the courthouse in Medellín, María Hologuín had asked him to tell her where her son Carlos Emilio Torres had been buried. Carlos disappeared on November 29th 2002 in district 13 during Operation Orión.

7/23/2009 : Proof of life of hostages underway: Cordoba

Colombian opposition Senator Piedad Cordoba said she is expecting proof of life of hostages held by the FARC.

7/22/2009 : Chavez to 'revise' ties with Colombia

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Tuesday he would review ties with Colombia after Bogota agreed to host "US bases" in the country.

7/21/2009 : The inside story of a negotiation: ‘French Emissary in Colombia’.

Noël Saez, a former French consul to Bogota, was the special envoy appointed by the French government to the task of securing the liberation of Ingrid Betancourt who was abducted by FARC on 23 February 2002. He fulfilled this role under the presidencies of both Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy. In the section of his book which deals with these negotiations- which he conducted alongside the Swiss emissary Jean-Pierre Gontard- Saez, without any indication of a soft attitude towards FARC, accuses the Colombian government of duplicity.

7/20/2009 : ‘My role in the mediation process is subject to a decision by the President who must officially assign this task to me’- Piedad Cordoba.

The above statement is the response given by the Liberal Party senator Piedad Cordoba to FARC’s letter in which FARC state that they are still awaiting the relevant conditions to be put in place in order to carry out the ‘prisoner exchange’. FARC repeated their willingness to liberate Pablo Emilio Moncayo and Daniel Calvo. The guerrilla movement also announced that they would hand over the remains of Major Julien Ernesto Guevara who died in captivity.

7/19/2009 : Colombian rebels say no to Uribe's hostage plan

Colombian rebels say they are willing to free two of the hostages but the rest would only be released as part of an exchange for guerrillas held in government jails.

7/18/2009 : Nobel Peace Prize winner urges Uribe to meet with Cordoba

Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel Thursday urged Colombia's president Alvaro Uribe to meet with Senator Piedad Cordoba to discuss details about her participation in the liberation of FARC hostages.

7/17/2009 : The Dark Force

Recent findings by the Prosecutor’s office and the Inspector General’s office reveal how Colombia’s intelligence agency (DAS) became the tip of the dagger for the regime’s unlawful political war. Evidence of wiretapping, family surveillance, mail interception and infringement of private matters, are all part of the artillery that was used against those considered “enemies” by the government

7/16/2009 : Piedad Cordoba to raise FARC hostage situation with UN Chairman

Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba and Miguel d’Escoto, Chairman of the UN General Assembly will meet in Nicaragua and will discuss the FARC hostage situation, a member of her staff announced.

7/15/2009 : 5 FARC hostages to be released: Cordoba

Colombia's largest rebel group FARC will release five hostages the coming month, 'Colombians for Peace' leader and Senator Piedad Cordoba announced Tuesday.

7/15/2009 : “To become a paramilitary, I had to kill, dismember…”

“My job? I had to kill those whom my boss picked out! If he told me you were helping the rebel forces, then, I would kill you!” Unlike many of his fellow fighters now “demobbed” who state “they never did any harm” during their “service” in the heart of the sinister Colombian paramilitary forces, Raul *, 26 years, reveals everything. Active collaboration with the Army, terrible crimes, drug traficking, everything that happened.

7/14/2009 : Colombian paramilitaries confess 21000 murders

Colombian right-wing paramilitaries have admitted to killing 21,000 people, prosecutors said on Monday.

7/11/2009 : “Being held hostage by FARC was the worst of nightmares”

Marc Gonsalves was held hostage by FARC for 1967 days. He was freed on 2 July 2008 at the same time as Ingrid Betancourt. He tells his story.

7/10/2009 : Ingrid Betancourt pleased by decision to allow Piedad Cordoba to attend hostage release.

Former presidential candidate, Ingrid Betancourt has issued a statement in which she states she is pleased by Alvaro Uribe’s decision to all Senator Piedad Cordoba to mediate in the hostage handover.

7/9/2009 : Colombia's Uribe OKs hostage mediation by senator

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe on Wednesday agreed to rebel demands that a leftist senator mediate the release of hostages but only if all 24 police and soldiers held by the guerrillas are freed at the same time.

7/8/2009 : More than 1600 Colombian Troops Implicated in Unlawful Killings

Colombian prosecutors are investigating 1,603 military personnel in connection with 812 extrajudicial executions during the last six years, Bogota daily El Tiempo said Tuesday, citing an official report.

7/7/2009 : Bishops want to negotiate directly with FARC

Colombian Catholic bishops requested face-to-face talks with the FARC to negotiate the release of 23 political prisoners. They also hope to lay the foundations for an eventual peace process through dialogue with the guerrilla organization.

7/6/2009 : Colombia to compensate more than 12,000 victims of armed groups before 2010

The government of Colombia is going to compensate more than 12,000 victims of armed groups before 2010, thanks to a 200,000 million pesetas (69 million euro) fund set up for this purpose, said Eduardo Pizarro, the chairman of the National Commission for Reparation and Reconciliation.

7/4/2009 : Uribe Falls to Earth

Colombia's president is used to being wildly popular. But now, his flirtation with a third term may be getting him into trouble.

7/2/2009 : One year later, Ingrid Betancourt thinks of those still held hostage

A year after her liberation by the Colombian army, Ingrid Betancourt urges the international community to “go beyond the possible “ to have those still held hostage released by the guerrillas.

7/2/2009 : Limbo for Colombia family seeking hostage release

A year after Colombian military agents disguised as international aid workers helicoptered Ingrid Betancourt and three U.S. military contractors to freedom, an offer by their former leftist rebel captors to unilaterally free two hostages is in limbo.

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