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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 January 2008, 17:04 GMT
Profile: Freed hostages
Colombia's Farc rebels have released Clara Rojas and Consuelo Gonzalez, two high-profile hostages.

An initial effort to free them ended after it emerged that Ms Rojas' three-year-old son Emmanuel - thought to be part of the release deal - was in fact in an orphanage in Bogota.


Clara Rojas in a video broadcast in 2003
Clara Rojas had been held hostage since 2002

Ms Rojas, 44, was an aide to former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt when she was captured on 23 February 2002.

The two women were stopped by rebels in their car while campaigning in a region of southern Colombia controlled by the Farc. Ms Betancourt is still in captivity.

Ms Rojas is a lawyer specialising in tax who taught at Colombian universities.

Her mother said she was never a politician, but had struck up a friendship with Ms Betancourt.

"She got into politics to help Ingrid," her mother said. "She was so caring, she wanted to see if she could resolve the problems of this country, but it's not that easy."

Three months after her capture, as a symbolic gesture, Ms Rojas was nominated as the vice presidential candidate for Ms Betancourt's party as it contested May elections .

She was last seen publicly in a video released in 2003.

A Colombian journalist revealed in 2006 that Ms Rojas had given birth to a baby boy, fathered by an unnamed rebel.


Reproduction of an undated photo of Consuelo Gonzalez
Consuelo Gonzalez was captured by rebels in 2001

Consuelo Gonzalez, a 57-year-old former congresswoman, was captured on 10 September 2001 near the city of Neiva.

Her driver was freed the following day.

Ms Gonzalez started her political career in the province of Huila, a rebel stronghold in south-west Colombia.

After serving as a provincial deputy, she was elected to the country's congress as a Liberal Party representative in 1988.

"She was totally dedicated to the people," said her daughter, Patricia Perdomo. "As a politician, she always sought the best for the community."

Ms Gonzalez said in a video filmed in August 2003 that she had learnt of her husband's death earlier that year while listening to a radio programme about the hostages.

She has a two-year-old granddaughter, Maria Juliana.


One of Ms Rojas's captors is believed to have fathered her son, Emanuel, who is now three years old.

When the first effort to pick up the hostages foundered at the end of December, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said it was because the Farc was not in possession of Emmanuel.

DNA tests later proved that he was living in an orphanage in Bogota, where he had been for more than two years.

Ms Rojas's mother, Clara Gonzalez de Rojas, has said that Emmanuel is in good health.

"He's a very loving baby, full of smiles, that inspires lots of tenderness - beautiful for a child who in his short life has had to overcome so much," she said.

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