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9/30/2005 : U.S. Objects Warlord Avoiding Extradition

President Alvaro Uribe said Thursday a paramilitary warlord can avoid extradition to the United States on drug trafficking charges if he complies with a peace accord and quits committing crimes, drawing immediate condemnation from the U.S. ambassador.

9/30/2005 : France asks Colombia permission to see rebels

France has asked Colombia for permission to meet leftist rebels in order to seek the release of dual French-Colombian national Ingrid Betancourt, who was taken hostage while running for Colombia's presidency in 2002, a French emissary said on Thursday.

9/28/2005 : French singer Renaud, former hostages Florence Aubenas and Christian Chesnot publicly support the liberation of Ingrid Betancourt.

Former hostages held in Iraq, Florence Aubenas and Christian Chesnot, accompanied by singer Renaud came together to show support for Ingrid Betancourt, held hostage since February 2002 in Colombia by FARC guerrillas. They accompanied the members of the Ingrid Betancourt support committee that handed in to the Department of Foreign Affairs 95,000 signatures demanding the liberation of the French-Colombian hostage.

9/28/2005 : Colombia softens stance on leftist guerrilla groups

In the past few weeks, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe appears to have taken an unexpected turn to the left.

"We are in an electoral campaign," explains Fernando Giraldo, dean of international relations at Bogotá's Sergio Arboleda University. "Uribe is establishing an electoral strategy so that the opposition doesn't co-opt the subject of peace."

9/24/2005 : Colombia protests French contacts with FARC rebels

Colombia on Friday protested what it called unauthorized hostage talks between France and Marxist rebels in the Andean country, accusing French officials of interfering in Colombia's internal affairs.

9/23/2005 : Negotiations to free Ingrid Betancourt

Even if Yolanda Pulecio, mother of Ingrid Betancourt, does not yet dare to appear to be "too optimistic", the latest contacts, established by the French government envoy with her daughter's kidnappers, has renewed her hopes. Twice in two months, a representative, sent especially by the French government from Paris, met Raul Reyes, spokesman for FARC to discuss the hostage issue.

9/22/2005 : Some 2,000 ex-paramilitary fighters join Colombia's police force

Some 2,000 recently demobilized far-right paramilitary fighters joined Colombia's police force on Wednesday to work as unarmed security guards. The paramilitaries emerged in the 1980s to battle leftist rebels but have been accused of some of the worst atrocities in Colombia's 41-year-old civil war.

9/21/2005 : Raul Reyes meets a French Government representative

FARC rebels are to examine in Ecuador details of a hostage exchange said to be "imminent" at least that has been reported on Monday last by the La Hora newspaper in Quito, quoting an anonymous source from FARC.

9/20/2005 : Ingrid Betancourt's mother asks Uribe not to rescue hostages by military means.

Yolanda Pukecio, mother of former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, kidnapped since February 2002 by FARC, asked the Colombian President Alvaro Uribe not to rescue hostages held by them through military means.

9/19/2005 : Restrepo: "We insist on talks with FARC in Bolo Azul"

The High Commissioner for Peace, Luis Carlo Rostrepo is not too concerned by the latest statement of FARC; he states the last reply from FARC shows that they are not yet mature enough to seek a solution by dialogue. "As far as the government is concerned it is continuing to look for a conclusion to a humanitarian agreement by holding firmly to its offer of a 10-day meeting in Bolo Azul.

9/17/2005 : Colombian government to attempt to rescue hostages.

That is what the Minister for Interior Affairs and Justice, Sabas Pretelt announced, according to the Associated Press.

This decision is in response to the refusal by FARC to meet the Government High Commissioner to negotiate the exchange of hostages for imprisoned guerrillas: the government is ready to negotiate but refuses to provide a demilitarised zone.

9/16/2005 : FARC refuse Government offer and insist on the temporary demilitarisation of two villages.

While it is very likely a French government envoy has just met Raul Reyes, the FARC spokesman for the second time with the consent of the Colombian government, FARC has issued a statement through Anncol in which they reject the offer of the Colombian government to have talks in a military school in Bolo Azul and they return to their demand for temporary demilitarisation of two villages in the same region.

9/14/2005 : Colombia Three must not cloud relations, says US envoy

US envoy on Northern Ireland Mitchell Reiss said the re-appearance of the three alleged IRA members in Ireland after eight months on the run from terrorist offences in Colombia was a concern but should not be allowed to sour transatlantic ties.

9/14/2005 : Colombia offered locations abroad for peace negotiations.

Colombia's Minister of Justice, Ms Carolina Barco, stated Colombia had received offers from Brazil, Venezuela and other friendly countries to welcome government and rebel delegations to begin eventual peace talks.

9/13/2005 : Colombian rebel leader freed from prison

A leader of Colombia’s smaller rebel group has been released from prison today in hopes that he will be able to persuade his fellow guerrillas to hold peace talks.

9/12/2005 : The families of kidnapped want action and less talk.

Families of Colombians kidnapped by FARC acknowledged on Friday last the offer rof the National Government but have stressed that now it is important to think more about the human beings detained and less about the logistics of negotiations.

9/9/2005 : Colombia reaches out to rebels on hostage exchange

Colombia offered a limited suspension of military and police operations if the country's biggest rebel group agrees to negotiate an exchange of prisoners, including three Americans held in jungle camps.

9/8/2005 : Colombia: The President frees a rebel leader.

Colombian president Alvarao Uribe, who wishes to conclude a separate peace with ELN, has freed Francisco Galan, the leader of the ELN, in order to start negotiations.

9/7/2005 : Uribe ready to acknowledge armed conflict if…

Colombian president Alvaro Uribe indicate don Tuesday that provided the illegal rebel group known as the National Liberation Army (ELN) agreed to a cease- fire he would acknowledge that an armed conflict existed in Colombia.

One wonders if maintaining that there is not an armed conflict, while also proposing a cease-fire- and admitting that this conflict exists if a cease-fire is established, is proof of some brilliant logic?

9/6/2005 : FARC state they will only accept a humanitarian exchange in return for the liberation of all their imprisoned members.

FARC stated today that they would only accept an eventual humanitarian exchange of hostages held by them in exchange for the release from prison of all its personnel.

9/5/2005 : Ingrid Betancourt : good news ?

Astrid Betancourt, sister of Ingrid Betancourt recalls that Ingrid, the former presidential French-Colombian candidate has now been held for over three and half years.

According to unofficial reports, Ingrid is in good health and Astrid Betancourt wants to remain optimistic...

9/3/2005 : In Colombia, a new law will give kidnap victims and their families some financial relief

The Government of Colombia has just introduced a new law that will give kidnap victims and their families some financial relief and suspend their financial responsibilities.

9/1/2005 : Former President Julio Turbay asks that all hostages - not just political hostages, be included in a humanitarian agreement.

The former President puts forward a suggestion that, while appearing to be positive, complicates a humanitarian agreement that is already difficult to achieve. The way in which it was presented to the public- by using the term 'political' to designate the 63 'exchangeable' hostages, the majority of whom are in fact members of police or military, captured during warfare, is not an impartial step either. It won't be a surprise when President Uribe favours this suggestion…

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