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Colombian escapes Farc captivity
Man walks for seven days through jungle to reach Colombian military.
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2008 20:31 GMT
Thousands of Colombians took to the streets across the country in a massive protest against Farc [AFP] 
A Colombian man, taken hostage by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) has escaped captivity after walking for seven days through the jungle, the Colombian military said.

Ricardo Correa was captured by the Marxist group in a rural zone of the Norte de Santander department on January 23 in the northeast of the country.
On Wednesday, seven days after he was captured, Correa was able to escape while his captors slept, according to statements he gave to the military.

"I feel very good because I am free from that pressure I felt while in captivity," Correa said.
"I think I am safe now, and I hope to recover very soon so I can continue rebuilding my life."

Farc demanded a ransom of $41,500 in exchange for his release, according to local media.

Military sources said Correa walked through the jungle until he was able to make contact with soldiers of the country's armed forces in an area 500km northeast of the capital Bogota.

General Paulino Coronado, Commander of a Colombian army division, said: "His face is a bit swollen and he is in a stable condition.

"He is conscious and was able to describe how they had tied him up, as they keep all hostages tied by the hands."

The military took him to a hospital in the city of Cucuta, where he was said to be in a stable condition.

Protests

On Monday, tens of thousands of Colombians took to the streets across the country in a protest against Farc which has abducted and held people for years in jungle camps.

Correa was taken to hospital where he was
said to be in a stable condition
The protests took place in many of Colombia's cities in some of the largest rallies ever organised in the country

Many waved flags and some wore T-shirts that read: "No more kidnapping, No more lies, No more killing, No more Farc".

Alvaro Uribe, the Colombian president, said: "Today the citizens have more faith in the state, they have more faith in the army."

Farc fighters pledged on Sunday to release three hostages in poor health after seven years of captivity.

But attempts to reach a deal are deadlocked after Farc demanded that Uribe demilitarise an area the size of New York City in southern Colombia.

He has refused, saying that would allow the Farc to regroup. He has offered a smaller zone under international observation.

Source:
Agencies
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