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Thursday, March 30, 2017
Colombia: hostages free
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 All five hostages held by the National Liberation Army in Colombia since 12 September have been freed within the last hour - a CAFOD spokesperson has confirmed. Francis McDonagh, CAFOD's programme officer for Colombia, said he has spoken to the English hostage, Mark Henderson. He said: "He is very well and he is enjoying having his first proper meal since his release." After their take-off was delayed by bad weather, CAFOD partner Mgr Héctor Fabio and Fr Darío Echeverri who have been negotiating with the rebels, flew by helicopter to Valledupar, in the department of César, in NE Colombia from Medellín and Bogotá for the handover. Henderson's parents, who live in Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire, have now spoken with their son by phone and say they are absolutely thrilled with the news. His father, Christopher, said: "We have gained great strength from the messages, over one thousand messages, e-mails, hundreds of letters from friends and complete strangers, that have given us the strength to see this through." Mark is now flying to Bogotá and, weather-permitting, could be home by Christmas Eve.
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