Skip to comments.US Indicts 4 Colombia ELN Rebels for 2000 Kidnapping
Posted on 11/13/2013 1:45:17 AM PST by Cindy
SNIPPET: "WASHINGTON Four members of a violent guerilla organization were indicted on Friday on conspiracy and hostage-taking charges stemming from the kidnapping of more than 60 people in Colombia in 2000, including three United States nationals."
(Excerpt) Read more at laht.com ...
NOTE The following text is a quote:
Four Members of Colombian Guerilla Organization Indicted in Connection with 2000 Kidnapping
Three U.S. Nationals were Among the Hostages Taken by the ELN
U.S. Attorneys Office
November 07, 2013
District of Columbia
WASHINGTONFour members of a violent guerilla organization were indicted today on conspiracy and hostage-taking charges stemming from the kidnapping of more than 60 people in Colombia in 2000, including three United States nationals. As a result of the ensuing captivity, three Colombian citizens who were taken hostage by the kidnappers died.
The indictment, returned by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, was announced by Ronald C. Machen, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, and Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge of the FBIs Miami Field Division.
According to the indictment, at the time of the crimes, the defendants were members of the Ejercito De Liberación Nacional (ELN), which in English translates to the National Liberation Army. Since its inception in 1964, the ELN has engaged in an armed conflict to overthrow the democratically elected government of the Republic of Colombia. The ELN has engaged in terrorist activity, including murder, hostage-taking, and the violent destruction of property.
Those indicted today include Eudes Ojeda Ovando, 44, also known as El Tuerto and Martin; Fidel Castro Murillo, 54, also known as El Profe and Daniro Rodriguez; and two others identified as John Does. They were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit hostage-taking resulting in death and three counts of hostage-taking. None of the defendants is in custody. If convicted of these charges following an extradition, each defendant would face a maximum term of 60 years of incarceration, which is the maximum sentence permitted under Colombian law for Colombian nationals extradited to the United States for prosecution.
The indictment returned today alleges that four members of an armed and violent guerilla organization held more than 60 hostagesincluding American citizensfor ransom in the Colombian jungle, said U.S. Attorney Machen.
During this harrowing ordeal, members of this insurgent group allegedly fired at Colombian military helicopters searching for the hostages and armed themselves with bazookas to resist the military operation pursuing the guerillas. This prosecution demonstrates our commitment to pursuing members of foreign terrorist organizations who target Americans as well as our resolve to seeking justice for the three Colombian citizens who actually died during this hostage ordeal.
The ELN is a foreign terrorist organization whose members have engaged in violent acts against American and Colombian citizens, said Special Agent in Charge Steinbach. These indictments today demonstrate the FBIs commitment to bring these ELN members to justice. The outstanding, long-term cooperation between the Colombian National Police and U.S. law enforcement has dealt another blow to international terrorism.
According to the indictment, the defendants were among the leaders of a series of kidnappings carried out on September 17, 2000. The three U.S. nationalsa woman, her brother, and her sister-in-lawwere taken hostage at a country home roughly 30 minutes outside of Cali, Colombia. More than 60 others, all Colombian nationals, were taken hostage at two restaurants in the area. The restaurants and country home were all near kilometer 18 of a road that led from Cali to Buenaventura, Colombia. The hostages were forced into vehicles and taken into the Colombian jungle and mountains. One of the U.S. nationals, a 66-year-old man, was released at that point because of concerns he would not survive a journey through the jungle and mountains and would also slow down the kidnappers during their escape from Colombian authorities.
The indictment alleges that the defendants and their co-conspirators used firearms to keep and detain the hostages; threatened to kill the hostages; conducted or attempted to conduct negotiations for ransom with family members of the hostages; and demanded that military operations by the armed forces of the Republic of Colombia against the hostage-takers cease.
On the second day of the ordeal, the kidnappers released another one of the U.S. nationalsa 58-year-old womanso that she could personally convey one of their ransom demands. The third U.S. national, a 69-year-old woman, was released on September 20, 2000 after three days in captivity, but the kidnappers continued to hold her adult son as a hostage and continued to demand that she pay a large ransom for his release.
The rest of the hostages remained with the ELN, some for several weeks. During this time-frame, the indictment alleges, the ELN conspirators fired at helicopters of the Colombian military members who were attempting to locate the hostages, and also armed bazookas intended to be used against the Colombian military. Three hostages, all Colombian nationals, died as a result of the extreme conditions: Dr. Miguel Nassif, Carlos Alberto Garcia, and Alejandro Henao Botero. According to the indictment, all were denied medical treatment by their captors.
By early November 2000, the last remaining hostages were finally released to representatives from the Colombian Red Cross and the Colombian Peace Commissioner. Even after that, however, the kidnappers pressed on with ransom demands.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.
The charges were the result of an investigation led by the FBI Miami Field Division and are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brenda J. Johnson and Fernando Campoamor-Sanchez of the U.S. Attorneys Office for the District of Columbia. Assistance also was provided by the FBI Office of the Legal Attaché in Colombia.
...Indicted for Two Separate Hostage Takings of U.S. Citizens in 1999 and 2003
US DOJ.gov ^ | December 8, 2008 | n/a
Posted on December 8, 2008 at 3:21:25 PM PST by Cindy
December 8, 2008
Note: The following text is a quote:
Colombian Terror Organization Leader Indicted for Two Separate Hostage Takings of U.S. Citizens in 1999 and 2003
WASHINGTON - A federal grand jury in the District of Colombia has indicted Carlos Marin Guarin, also known as “Pablo,” also known as Gustavo Anibal Giraldo Quinchia, a high-ranking member of the terrorist group the National Liberation Army (in Spanish the “Ejercito De Liberacion Nacional,” or “ELN” for short), in connection with two separate hostage takings of United States citizens which took place in Colombia in 1999 and 2003, U.S. Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor and Patrick Rowan, Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division, U.S. Department of Justice, announced today.
Carlos Marin Guarin, 40, is currently incarcerated in Colombia on other charges. The ELN has been designated a foreign terrorist organization by the Secretary of State of the United States since 1997.
The indictment in the first matter, which was returned on December 4, 2008, alleges that on May 13, 1999, armed members of the ELN kidnapped American citizen Matthew A. Burchell and held him hostage for fifteen months, until August 5, 2000. The ELN told Burchell, and those negotiating for his release, that Burchell had been seized in the hope that a ransom would be paid to the group by a United States or British company.
During his fifteen months of confinement, Burchell was put through two mock executions, bound, taken on long journeys while blindfolded and given numerous death threats. Guarin, then the ELN’s Eastern Front Commander, conspired with others to carry out the hostage taking of Burchell. In addition, Guarin acted as the primary negotiator for the ELN throughout the ransom negotiations. The indictment charges Guarin with conspiracy to commit hostage taking and hostage taking (aiding and abetting and causing an act to be done).
The indictment in the second matter, which was returned on December 5, 2008, alleges that on January 21, 2003, Scott A. Dalton, a United States and citizen, and Alison Ruth Morris, a British citizen by birth and a United States permanent resident, were working as professional journalists on assignment for The Los Angeles Times in the Arauca province of Colombia, when they were taken hostage and held captive under armed guard for twelve days by the Eastern War Front of the ELN, under the command of Guarin.
During that time, Guarin forced the journalists to interview him. Guarin also caused a letter bearing his nom de guerre “Pablo” to be sent on behalf of the General Command of the ELN to the Reuters international news agency, demanding that the government of Colombia form a commission and undertake certain actions as a condition for the release of the hostages. The hostages were eventually released unharmed. The indictment charges Guarin with conspiracy to commit hostage taking and hostage taking (aiding and abetting and causing an act to be done) and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence. This indictment supersedes a previous indictment that was returned in 2003 and unsealed today.
In announcing the indictments, U.S. Attorney Taylor and Assistant Attorney General Rowan praised the hard work of the FBIs Miami Extraterritorial Squad, in particular lead case agents Special Agent Christopher Carbonneau and Special Agent Manuel Ortega, as well as Special Agent M. Alexandra Montilla, Supervisory Special Agent Alex Barbeito, Intelligence Analyst Christopher Wright of FBI Miami, FBI Legal Attaché Joseph Jeziorski based in Bogotá, Colombia.
Furthermore, they acknowledged the efforts of Paralegal Nadia Arnett Snoddy of the U.S. Attorneys Office, and Trial Attorney Matthew F. Blue of the Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brenda J. Johnson and Jeanne M. Hauch, who are prosecuting the case.
The charges contained in these indictments are allegations only and the defendant is presumed innocent until convicted at trial.
“Marxist Colombian Rebels (ELN) Admit to Kidnapping of Britons, Israelis”
AP ^ | Sep 29, 2003
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