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Colombia Kidnap Radio hostage killed

American reporter Annie Correal wrote us (November 27) about some disturbing developments in a story she told in a documentary on Dispatches last year called Kidnap Radio.

I'm writing because I got the sad news tonight that the FARC assassinated four hostages in the midst of a failed rescue attempt -- including the father of one of my subjects, the young Viviana Duarte. Her father had been held by the FARC for 13 years.


BBC report of the funerals

Colombians are planning to take to the streets on December 6th to protest the FARC and its terror tactics. In the past these marches have drawn millions.

The newspapers El Tiempo and El Espectador will be revealing more details over the course of the week (in Spanish).

I have reached out to the wife and daughter of the police colonel who was among the four hostages assassinated, but I have not heard back from them. The little girl at the beginning of my documentary, Viviana, is now 15, and she hadn't yet turned two when her father was kidnapped. She only ever saw him in proof-of-life videos. And now he's been killed. The documentary is much more heartbreaking to listen to now. It changes it completely. 

Here's how Dispatches presented Kidnap Radio on our website:

Reporter Annie Correal..

Colombia's captive audience

At its peak in Colombia, more than 3,000 people were kidnapped each year, most famously, presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, held for six years.

The practice is declining.  But many hostages are still held by paramilitary or Marxist rebel groups like the one known as FARC, trying to ransom or exchange them for imprisoned colleagues.  

In some cases, the families haven't heard from their captive relatives for years. Yet they have a way of staying in touch.

This is the remarkable story of Kidnap Radio, one that reporter Annie Correal experienced first-hand...

Click here for Annie's dispatch

Annie Correal is a reporter based in New York City with the Spanish-language newspaper El Diario La Prensa.

She produced that documentary with Jay Allison for the public radio website called Transom.org, part of the Open Studio Project funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, in The United States..

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