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Colombian hostages speak out

July 7, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Three American military contractors, who were kidnapped and held hostage by Colombian rebels, spoke publicly for the first time on Monday. The three men were released last week after almost five years. The men were taken captive when their drug surveillance plane went down in the jungle. Mark Gonsalves says Colombian rebels, the FARC, forced them to march like dogs with chains around their necks.

"Don't tell us you're not terrorists. Show us you're not terrorists. Let those other hostages come home," said Mark Gonsalves, former hostage

Keith Stansel has spent the past several days getting reacquainted with his family. His five year old twins were born while he was a hostage.

"Their consistent dedication and unwavering love never failed," said Keith Stansel, former hostage.

In France, fellow hostage Ingrid Betancourt spoke over the radio. Betancourt sent a message of hope to the hundreds still held hostage. She also urged the Colombian government to tone down its rhetoric against the rebels. Betancourt applauded Colombia's president for the daring rescue in which soldiers tricked the rebels into handing them over.

The Colombian government has denied reports of paying a $20 million ransom for the hostages' release.


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