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9/29/2008 : Kidnapping, already a problem in Colombia, spreads in Latin America

Kidnapping is a chronic nightmare in Colombia, one more tragedy of its four-decade civil war. But in recent years, the problem has spread across the region, becoming a growing problem in countries such as Venezuela and Mexico.

9/27/2008 : Womens rights activist, 5-year-old gunned down

A womens rights activist, her five-year-old grandson and his parents were gunned down in their central Medellín home Wednesday night.

She was a member of ePacifist Path of Women, a “feminist political proposal of national character that worked for a negotiated handling of the armed conflict in Colombia and for the visibility of the effects of the war on women’s lives,”

9/26/2008 : Colombia arrests brother of interior minister

The brother of Colombia's powerful interior minister was arrested Thursday as a scandal over ties to outlawed paramility drug gangs spread among Colombia's ruling elite.

9/24/2008 : Betancourt meets Spanish king; announces human rights foundation

In Ingrid Betancourt news of the day, the former FARC hostage announced she will create a foundation in favor of human rights and met with the king of Spain.

9/23/2008 : "Colombian state increasingly involved in human rights violations"

A coalition of NGOs released a report Monday condemning a rising state role in violence and ongoing paramilitary activity in Colombia during the presidency of Álvaro Uribe, a release timed to coincide with the head of state’s meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

9/17/2008 : Colombian court sentences Mancuso to 40 years

Demobilized and extradited AUC head Salvatore Mancuso was sentenced to 40 years in prison by an Antioquia court Monday. He was sentenced for the murder of 12 people in Uraba in 1994 and 1997.

9/11/2008 : Betancourt wins Asturias award

Ingrid Betancourt, the Colombian politician released this year after six years as a rebel hostage, was on Wednesday awarded the Prince of Asturias Concorde prize, the foundation announced.
"Ingrid Betancourt personifies all those in the world who are deprived of liberty," the Asturias jury said in a statement announcing the award.

9/10/2008 : Betancourt leads off UN terror victim panel

Former hostage Ingrid Betancourt was the best known of 18 victims summoned from the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas to share memories of bombings, hostage-takings and other terrorist attacks. She implored diplomats to stand up to terrorists while mixing their strategies with humanism and love.

9/6/2008 : World Awards group names Betancourt woman of the year

"I am extremely honoured and will humbly accept this award at this year's Women's World Awards gala," Betancourt said in the statement.
"I see this prize not only as a call to for me to continue to fight for the freedom of the rest of the hostages still held by the FARC in Columbia, but also for all people who are being suppressed against their will even in their own families.

9/5/2008 : Betancourt to speak before European Parliament

Former FARC hostage Ingrid Betancourt will describe the six years she spent in captivity with the Colombian guerrilla army before the European Parliament on October 8, announced the body Thursday.

9/2/2008 : Former Colombian hostage says meeting pope was 'dream come true'

Her voice still breaking with emotion a few hours after meeting the pope Sept. 1, Betancourt said she was fairly certain she broke Vatican protocol "because as soon as I went in, I hugged the pope and maybe I wasn't supposed to do that."

9/1/2008 : Pope to meet former hostage Ingrid Betancourt

Former hostage Ingrid Betancourt will get her wish to meet with Pope Benedict XVI when they hold private talks next week at the papal summer residence.

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