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Cablegate: Colombian Military Rescues American Hostages,

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id: 160573
date: 7/3/2008 0:20
refid: 08BOGOTA2403
origin: Embassy Bogota
classification: UNCLASSIFIED
destination:
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UNCLAS BOGOTA 002403

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PTER PREL PREF PHUM FR CO
SUBJECT: COLOMBIAN MILITARY RESCUES AMERICAN HOSTAGES,
INGRID BETANCOURT

1. Minister of Defense Juan Manuel Santos announced on July
2 that the Colombian military had rescued American hostages
Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes, and Keith Stansell, along with
Ingrid Betancourt and eleven members of the Colombian
security forces, from the FARC. Military intelligence
rescued the hostages from an area south of San Jose de
Guaviare in an operation titled "Operation Jaque." Santos
said the unprecedented operation incurred no injuries or
deaths. He added that the Colombian military had
"infiltrated" the FARC Secretariat, as well as the FARC's
First Front which was holding the hostages, as part of the
operation. Santos called on all FARC to lay down their arms
and demobilize. The Colombian military also captured two FARC
members, including First Front commander Gerardo Antonio
Aguilar, alias "Cesar," and Alexander Farfan, alias "Enrique
Gafas." Santos said the military would hand "Cesar" over to
Colombian judicial authorities. The American hostages are
wheels up at 6:15 PM en route to the United States tonight.
BROWNFIELD

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

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