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Last Updated: Monday, 14 January 2008, 07:38 GMT
Freed Colombia hostage sees son
Clara Rojas with her son Emmanuel
Rojas had not seen her son for three years

A woman who gave birth to a boy while she was being held hostage by Farc rebels in Colombia has been reunited with her child after being freed.

Clara Rojas' son, Emmanuel, fathered by one of the rebels, was taken from her aged eight months suffering from malnutrition and tropical diseases.

Now nearly four, he has been living in a foster home in Bogota.

A government official present at the reunion said that it was "a very emotional moment".

Clara Rojas and fellow hostage Consuelo Gonzalez were freed on Thursday, after prolonged efforts by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to broker the release.

But the Farc continue to hold about 700 people, including more than 40 high-profile hostages.

Among them are three US defence contractors and the French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, whose presidential campaign Ms Rojas was managing when the pair were seized in 2002.

Son's drawing

Clara Rojas, 44, arrived in the Colombian capital on Sunday from Venezuela, where she had been flown immediately after her release.

ICRC helicopters in San Jose del Guaviare before the exchange
The hostages were first flown to Venezuela after their release

Emmanuel had originally been expected to be part of the hostage release plan, but after DNA tests indicated that a boy in foster care in Bogota was Ms Rojas' son, the Farc admitted that they were no longer holding the boy.

Child psychologists showed the boy photographs of his mother to prepare him for the meeting. Photographs from the reunion show him giving his mother a drawing he had made for her.

"Emmanuel has been transferred with his mother to a special location," said Elvira Forero, director of the Colombian Family Welfare Institute, which has been caring for the boy.

"They had a six-hour get-to-know session today in hopes of restoring family ties."

She said Emmanuel would be "living with his mother temporarily until we finish all the paper work".

Ms Rojas has not given details about the boy's father, who is believed to have been a Farc guerrilla.

She told Colombian radio she had not been able to tell him about being pregnant. She said she did not know where he was and the rebels had often told her he was dead.

'Living again'

While she was happy to be reunited with her son, she remembered the hostages still being held - especially Ingrid Betancourt.

"I feel very happy to be here, I am reborn, I am living again," she said at Bogota's military airport, before she went to meet her son.

Hugo Chavez
Hugo Chavez has angered the Colombian president

"I want to say hello to Ingrid... what I want most is that she could be here today" she said.

Ms Rojas said she had not seen Ms Betancourt for three years and their relationship had been strained by their inability to escape from captivity.

The two women tried once and failed - getting lost in the forest before their captors caught up with them again, and punished them by chaining them to a tree.

President Chavez on Sunday said that the Farc should stop taking hostages as part of their opposition to the Colombian government.

"I don't believe in kidnapping and I don't believe in armed struggle," he said.

He had earlier angered the Colombian authorities by calling for the international community to stop labelling the Farc "terrorists".

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