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Ex-Colombia rebel admits kidnapping Americans

A former commander of Colombia's FARC rebels faces up to 60 years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to charges stemming from the kidnapping of three US citizens in 2003, US justice officials said. Alexander Beltran Herrera, 37, admitted three counts of hostage-taking during an appearance in federal court in Washington following his extradition to the United States in 2012. Beltran Herrera had been a member and commander in FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, during a 15-year spell with the group between 1994 and 2009.

Colombia says FARC rebels killed 2 cops

Bogota, Mar 18 (EFE).- The director of the Colombian Police confirmed Tuesday the murders of two officers in the southwestern part of the country and attributed the deed to leftist FARC guerrillas. After Maj. German Mendez Pabon and Pvt. Edilmer Muñoz Ortiz were reported missing last weekend authorities launched a search that ended Tuesday morning with the discovery of the two bodies in Tumaco, a municipality in Nariño province, Gen. Rodolfo Palomino told a press conference.

In Colombia war zone, peace talks raise new fears

By Helen Murphy TORIBIO, Colombia (Reuters) - For farmers like Angel Escue, Colombia's bid to end half a century of war with Marxist rebels may come at too high a price. Stripping leaves from an illegal coca bush at his small plot in the mountains of central Cauca department, Escue says a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, could sink him deeper into poverty even if it ends almost daily firefights in the area.

4 Soldiers dead, 4 civilians wounded in rebel attack in Colombia

Bogota, Mar 10 (EFE).- Four Colombian army soldiers died and four civilians were wounded in an attack apparently carried out by FARC guerrillas in the municipality of Montañita, in southern Caqueta province, the Defense Ministry announced here Monday. A non-commissioned officer and three soldiers died "after an attack by guerrillas who, disguised as construction workers, opened fire on the troops" on the road linking Montañita with Florencia, the capital of Caqueta, the ministry said.

4 Soldiers dead, 4 civilians wounded in rebel attack in Colombia

Bogota, Mar 10 (EFE).- Four Colombian army soldiers died and four civilians were wounded in an attack apparently carried out by FARC guerrillas in the municipality of Montañita, in southern Caqueta province, the Defense Ministry announced here Monday. A non-commissioned officer and three soldiers died "after an attack by guerrillas who, disguised as construction workers, opened fire on the troops" on the road linking Montañita with Florencia, the capital of Caqueta, the ministry said.

Four soldiers killed in Colombia

Four Colombian soldiers were shot dead Monday in in a suspected attack by leftist rebels, police in the south of the country said. A suspected rebel commando targeted the soldiers on a highway in La Montanita, Caqueta department, killing four, local police said. There was no report of any additional injuries. Local media have blamed a unit of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) active in the area. The FARC, with about 7,000 troops, has been fighting Latin America's longest insurgency, spanning almost five decades.

Colombian election seen as referendum on peace talks

Colombia holds legislative elections Sunday that are seen as a referendum on peace talks with FARC leftist guerrillas and a trial run for a presidential vote in May. Since they opened in late 2012 in Cuba, the talks that President Jose Manuel Santos has held with the Marxist rebels have dominated political life in Colombia. The FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, have been fighting successive governments for 50 years and are Latin America's oldest insurgency.

Colombia rebels deny deadly supermarket blast

Colombia's FARC rebels on Saturday denied responsibility for a supermarket bombing that left four people dead. A member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) delegation attending peace talks in Havana said the group had no involvement in Wednesday's bombing in the town of Quibdo, which also injured 10. FARC negotiator Marcos Calarca said the group was habitually accused of violence by authorities in Colombia.

Colombian rebels want U.S. to participate in peace talks

By Rosa Tania Valdés HAVANA (Reuters) - Colombia's FARC rebels asked for the United States to join its peace talks with the Colombian government, saying on Friday it would speed up the process because Washington was making all the important decisions anyway. The U.S. State Department said it disagreed with FARC's assessment and was unaware of any effort to join the talks. Colombia did not respond to the request, which it would likely reject on grounds of national sovereignty.

Colombia rebels apologize for shooting at presidential hopeful's motorcade

Bogota, Feb 27 (EFE).- The smaller of Colombia's two main guerrilla groups apologized on Thursday for an attack last weekend on the motorcade of Aida Avella, presidential candidate of the leftist Union Patriotica. No one was hurt in the shooting. "We deeply regret this incident and we apologize for it to candidate Aida Avella, at the same time that we will take the necessary measures so that such deeds do not occur again," the National Liberation Army, or ELN, said in a communique.
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