|A young police officer stands before a banner paying homage to a kidnapping victim.|
|Tables set up in front of the |
Catedral Mayor de Bogotá.
Kidnapping is a grim part of Colombia's long-running armed conflict. Historically, the nation's leftist guerrilla groups have carried out most of the kidnappings, for both economic and political reasons. Apolitical criminal organizations also kidnap, just to win ransoms.
|Reading messages sent in |
from all over the world.
The government demands that the guerrillas release their hostages immediately and without preconditions. Some left-leaning organizations - which seem to me to be guerrilla sympathizers - support the guerrillas' proposal that the government exchange kidnappees for imprisoned guerrillas. But the government argues that that would only free the guerrillas to return to violence and encourage more kidnapping.
During the message marathon, they've been reading thousands of messages sent in from countries across Latin America and Europe. You can listen live on Colombia Soy Yo's website.
Voces del Secuestro and other radio programs regularly transmit friends' and relatives' messages to kidnappees in the jungle.
Find information about kidnapping on Pais Libre's Website.
Related posts: Lest They Be Forgotten
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours