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Report: Nearly 40,000 people kidnapped in Colombia in 40 years

Bogota, Jun 20 (EFE).- At least 39,058 people were kidnapped over a period of 40 years in Colombia, or an average of nearly 1,000 cases per year, according to a report released Thursday in Bogota. The document said abductions occurred nationwide between 1970-2010, with cases reported in 1,006 of Colombia's 1,102 municipalities. The study was conducted by the National Center for Historical Memory and consulting and research firm Cifras & Conceptos, which documented 39,058 kidnapping victims.

G8 leaders agree to stamp out terror ransom payments

G8 leaders agreed on Tuesday to eradicate the payment of ransoms for hostages kidnapped by "terrorists" in an attempt to remove one of the key incentives for extremists. The world's most industrialised nations also called on companies to follow their lead in refusing to pay for the release of abducted employees. British Prime Minister David Cameron, the summit host, had been keen to push the deal because funds raised by ransom payments are a substantial source of funding for terror groups, especially those in north Africa.

Mexican police free 70 captives, dismantle 14 gangs

Mexico City, Jun 18 (EFE).- Mexican police have rescued 70 captives and dismantled 14 gangs in the past three weeks, security officials said. Police have arrested "57 individuals suspected of the crime of kidnapping" who will face "up to 60 years in prison" if convicted, Security Cabinet spokesman Eduardo Sanchez said. "In 20 days, in an effort coordinated by the government of the republic and state authorities, 14 criminal organizations have been dismantled," Sanchez said.

G8 leaders agree to stamp out terror ransom payments

G8 leaders have agreed to stamp out the payment of ransoms for hostages kidnapped by "terrorists", British Prime Minister David Cameron's office said Tuesday. Downing Street said the world leaders meeting at a summit in Northern Ireland would also call on companies to follow their lead in refusing to pay for the release of abductees. "Leaders agree to stamp out payment of ransoms to terrorists and call on companies to follow their lead," Cameron's office said on its Twitter feed.

Colombia frees two kidnapped Spanish tourists

Colombian police on Saturday freed two Spanish tourists who were kidnapped by criminals last month. The hostages were freed after a raid carried out in a rural area of northeast Colombia following an operation by a specialist anti-kidnapping unit. The head of the unit, Humberto Guatibonza, said the kidnappers were located after a partial ransom was paid to accomplices in Spain. One of the captives, Maria Concepcion Marlaska Sedano, 43, is a family member of a senior Spanish judge, Fernando Grande-Marlaska.

Prosecutors still looking for clues in mass kidnapping in Mexico

Mexico City, Jun 5 (EFE).- Prosecutors are still trying to determine how the young people who disappeared from a Mexico City bar last week left the establishment, Federal District Attorney Rodolfo Rios said. "The majority of the young people arrived at the bar in automobiles, a compact car and a taxi. That is what we know as of now," the DA said in a press conference held after a nearly three-hour meeting with the victims' relatives on Tuesday.

Investigators have no leads on 11 missing in Mexico City

Mexico City, Jun 4 (EFE).- Investigators have no leads on the 11 young people who went missing late last month in Mexico City and cannot even confirm that the group was taken by force, Federal District Attorney Rodolfo Rios said. The young people were led away from the Heavens After bar in Mexico City's Zona Rosa tourist district by gunmen on May 26, relatives and a young man who managed to escape said. The incident did not come to light until relatives staged a protest last Wednesday, three days after the group went missing.

Authorities investigate disappearance of 11 people in Mexico City

Mexico City, May 30 (EFE).- Investigators are looking into the disappearance of 11 young people following a supposed police operation at a bar in Mexico City's Zona Rosa tourist district, a Federal District Attorney's Office spokesman told Efe Thursday. Armed men drove the young people, including a minor and several women, away from the bar Sunday in SUVs that apparently had police logos on them, the victims' relatives told authorities.

U.S. man accused of kidnapping son to get another hearing in 10 days

WINNIPEG - A Colorado man accused of attacking his estranged wife and kidnapping the couple's son is to be detained in Manitoba for at least seven more days. The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada has ruled that Monty Ray Turner, 51, must remain in custody while preparations are made for an immigration admissibility hearing on whether he should be sent back to the United States.

Police rescue New York man, held captive for a month in warehouse

By Jonathan Allen NEW YORK (Reuters) - Police rescued a businessman from a New York City warehouse where he had been held captive for a month by kidnappers who demanded a $3 million ransom from his family in Ecuador, authorities said. Acting on a tip from the victim's mother, police found Pedro Portugal, 52, in the warehouse with his hands bound in cloth and duct tape. He had been abducted in the borough of Queens on April 18 by a man who approached him, flashing what looked like a police badge, prosecutors said.
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