Colombia kidnappings seen as bid for peace talks

olombia's President Juan Manuel Santos. Photo: Reuters

The recent kidnapping of several foreigners by Colombia’s leftist ELN guerrilla group may, paradoxically, be aimed at prodding the government into peace talks, analysts say.

Thursday, 7 February, 2013, 5:44pm

Talking points

Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li

Chief justice opens the legal year

City Hall hosts the ceremonial opening of the legal year, with Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li inspecting a ceremonial guard mounted by the police force at Edinburgh Place. He will address the gathering, followed by Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, Bar Association chairman Kumar Ramanathan and others.


14 Jan 2013 - 3:31am

Briefs, December 16, 2012

South Africa's presidency said Nelson Mandela has successfully undergone surgery to remove gallstones. The presidency said the 94-year-old Mandela underwent the surgery yesterday.

16 Dec 2012 - 5:14am

No ransom paid for freed Chinese hostages, says oil company

No ransom was paid to secure the release of four Chinese oil workers freed last month after being held hostage for more than a year, the company said Friday, rejecting allegations to the contrary.

15 Dec 2012 - 1:14pm

Ex-hostage of Colombian rebels sceptical peace talks will bear fruit

Marc Gonsalves was seized by the rebels in 2002.

For more than five years, Marc Gonsalves and two other Americans were marched through Colombia's jungles as hostages of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or Farc, guerillas.

26 Nov 2012 - 4:26am

Four Chinese oil workers freed in Colombia

An air ambulance transporting the four Chinese oil workers \released from their Farc captors lands at the airport in Bogota.  Photo: AFP

Four Chinese oil company employees held hostage since June last year, allegedly by Colombia’s Farc rebels, have been freed in southern Colombia, the Chinese embassy said Thursday.

“They released the four last night in the department of Caqueta. They are in good spirits,” said the embassy's spokesperson in Bogota.

23 Nov 2012 - 3:27am

Colombia says Farc releases 4 Chinese oil workers

Ivan Marquez chief negotiator for Colombia's Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia arrives for the third day of peace talks between the Farc and Colombia's government in Havana, Cuba, on Wednesday. Photo: AP

Colombian police say the country’s main leftist rebel group has freed four Chinese oil workers it kidnapped more than a year ago.

Caqueta state police chief Colonel Carlos Vargas told reporters the four men were released to the International Committee of Red Cross around midnight on Wednesday in a rural area of the southern town of San Vicente del Caguan.

22 Nov 2012 - 9:18pm

Farc rebels declare ceasefire as talks begin with Colombian government

Chief government negotiator Humberto de la Calle makes a speech before boarding a plane to Havana at a military airport in Bogota. Photo: Xinhua

Colombia’s leftist Farc rebels on Monday declared a unilateral two-month ceasefire, at the start of talks in Cuba with the Bogota government on ending Latin America’s longest-running insurgency.

20 Nov 2012 - 12:02am

Briefs, November 20, 2012

James Bond actor Daniel Craig at Camp Bastion. Photo: EPA

FARC rebels announce truce amid peace talks

20 Nov 2012 - 11:29am

Talking Points

Dutch national Tanja Nijmeijer

Colombia, rebels resume peace talks

19 Nov 2012 - 3:24am

Six Colombian police killed in rebel attack

Colombian security forces after an operation against Farc guerillas. Photo: AFP

Six Colombian police officers were killed on Monday in an attack blamed on leftist Farc guerillas, regional police sources said.

The officers were gunned down in the southwestern department of Cauca between the towns of Puerto Tejada and Villarrica, according to local police, who blamed the assault on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

30 Oct 2012 - 11:47am

Briefs, October 22, 2012

A massive clean-up was under way in the French pilgrimage town of Lourdes yesterday. Pilgrims were evacuated from flood-hit hotels. Photo: AFP

Fidel Castro appears in public after months

22 Oct 2012 - 5:15am

Colombia gives peace a chance in Oslo talks with Farc

Relatives of victims kidnapped by Farc (pictured above) campaign against an amnesty for the rebels in the peace process. Photo: Reuters

Under the jagged Andean peaks of south-western Colombia, villagers gathered on a recent cloudy morning at the school, where they mixed cement to rebuild a classroom destroyed in March by a mortar shell.

17 Oct 2012 - 4:55am

Colombian president to have surgery for prostate cancer

President Juan Manuel Santos (centre) greeting his son Esteban Santos during the delivery of weapons to new soldiers at the Tolemaida Army Base. Photo: AFP

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said on Monday he would undergo surgery for a non-aggressive prostate cancer in a health scare that seemed unlikely to derail his government’s imminent talks with Marxist rebels to end decades of war.

Santos, 61, said the tumour was discovered as part of a routine checkup and will be removed on Wednesday.

2 Oct 2012 - 1:10pm