Five Years As Hostages

Five years ago yesterday, three American contractors found themselves captives of FARC, the Marxist guerrillas in Colombia. They still remain captive to the South American terrorist gang, and most of their countrymen have long forgotten about them. Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell, and Thomas Howes languish in captivity while their nation has basically slept.
FARC is no less a terrorist gang than al-Qaeda, if somewhat less lethal. They have numbered in the tens of thousands, but now roughly comprise about 8,000 armed guerrillas controlling about 15% of Colombian territory. Like their Islamist cousins, FARC has used the drug trade to fund its operations, and in Colombia, that can be highly lucrative. They also use protection rackets and kidnapping for both profit and political purposes. They are despicable, less so than al-Qaeda and Hezbollah and certainly less of a threat to the US — but obviously not to the three men who have been held for so long.
At least a few weeks ago, FARC confirmed that the three men are still alive. They offered them as part of an exchange that Hugo Chavez tried to arrange, but the Colombian government got very suspicious of Chevez’ intent in engaging with his ideological allies in FARC. The US has a good policy in non-negotiation with terrorists, and so we need to find some other way to finally bring these men home to their families.
The Crossed Pond would like to start a blogospheric recognition of the suffering our fellow Americans are suffering at the hands of FARC. If nothing else, we can remind ourselves of their plight.