Colombia is the world’s kidnapping capital. Right now, more than 3,000 remain in captivity, most of them by FARC guerrillas. The so-called “humanitarian swap”, which is being pushed by senator Piedad Córdoba (Colombian Liberal Party) with Hugo Chávez, would only free around 50 people, including former presidential candidate and French citizen Íngrid Betancourt and three American hostages.
Meanwhile, kidnapping, while rejected for most Colombians as a huge demonstration in July (after the murder of 11 local lawmakers) shows, has reached another “creative” possibilities. On Friday, Colombian police found Aldo de Fescol, a dog who was kidnapped one month earlier, owned by an old, rich lady whose name was not disclosed. According to Reuters:
A kidnapped Colombian dog held for $350,000 (170,600 pound) ransom was recovered on Friday after his abductors dropped him off at a veterinarian’s office, saying he needed a bath.
When no one came to pick up the German shepherd after it was washed, the office called police who said they identified the canine as Aldo de Fescol, snatched last month from his home in a rich Bogota neighbourhood while his owners were away.
No ransom was paid, police said.
Aldo was in healthy condition but two of his kidnappers were wounded in a Tuesday shootout with police who ambushed them at a fake meeting staged to pay the extortion money.
After the murder of 11 deputies by FARC guerrillas, Colombians decided to go to the streets and yell “No More Kidnappings“. It started as a citizen initiative, but soon the democratic security government, big companies and mainstream media supported it and invited people to join. The huge demonstration took place on Thursday 5 July at noon. Even Second Lifers protested. But leftist Alternative Democratic Pole preferred to convoke its “own march”, because it didn’t want to be supportive of president Uribe, who is also considered [by them] responsible for the death of the local lawmakers.
equinoXio had a big special with some pictures from its “correspondents” in 5 cities (Bogotá, Medellín [twice], Cali, Manizales, and Pasto). Padrino José, writing from Cali, recalls his experience:
They marched today, I was there, but what I felt was the loneliness of the deputies’ families, amidst callings from political caudillos taking advantages from banners, flags and puppets calling for rejection [of kidnappings], I saw the pre-candidates for next elections fishing in Cali river’s troubled waters. But the saddest thing and that what I didn’t want to listen was the way deputy [Carlos] Charry’s daughter [Carolina] was treated while she read a grateful letter in behalf of the families and who was booed by the crowd as she said:
“… Our deads belong to us. Thank you for mobilizing to reject the government’s policies…”
And it’s them, the relatives, who in a unobjectionable mix of pain and loneliness sheltered by a blanket have in my opinion the best version of what happened: unfulfilled promises, cancelled appointments, begs everywhere in a 5-year restless search for their release and nothing could achieve it, the will of the parts in order to help in the right moment was an already earned right and they couldn’t get it, and to their surprise, now, when they clamour for their deads the voices of pain seem to be selfish and strategic and they will surely hold up the path to reach an ending.