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World Briefing / Colombia

Guerrillas free ex-governor

February 04, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia freed former Meta state Gov. Alan Jara after holding him for more than seven years, making him the fifth captive the guerrillas have released this week.

A Red Cross team flew by helicopter into the southern jungles to pick him up and take him to the town of Villavicencio, where his weeping wife and son hugged him as he stepped onto the tarmac.

The FARC freed three police officers and a soldier Sunday, and the hand-over of a provincial lawmaker, Sigifredo Lopez, is planned for later this week.

Jara said fellow hostages cheered him as he left.

"That humidity rots everything, and those out there in the jungle are rotting," he said. "We have to get them out."

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