Colombia: DNA Links Child To Rebel Hostage

Clara Rojas, hostage held captive by Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, video still 2003
AP (file)
DNA analysis indicates a 3-year-old boy living in a Bogota foster home is the child of a woman held captive by leftist rebels for nearly six years, Colombia's top prosecutor said Friday.

The results suggest President Alvaro Uribe was right - and that the leftist rebels misled Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the world when they promised to release the boy along with his mother Clara Rojas and another hostage from their jungle camps.

The DNA analysis shows a complete match between the mitochondria in the blood of Rojas' mother and the boy, chief federal prosecutor Mario Iguaran announced, meaning that there is a "very high probability" that "this boy belongs to the Rojas family."

The DNA analysis shows a complete match between the mitochondria in the blood of Rojas' mother and the boy, chief federal prosecutor Mario Iguaran announced, meaning that there is a very high probability that ``this boy belongs to the Rojas family.''

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, promised two weeks ago to release the boy fathered by a leftist rebel, along with Rojas and former congresswoman Consuelo Gonzalez. Chavez assembled a team of international observers and invited filmmaker Oliver Stone to participate, along with a media horde.

But the rebels never told Chavez where to pick them up, and blamed operations by Colombia's U.S.-backed military when it called off the liberation of the three hostages on New Year's Eve.

Uribe meanwhile made the shocking announcement that the rebels couldn't keep their promises because they didn't have the boy, who had been living in foster care under a different name, Juan David Gomez, for more than two years.

Venezuela complained that Colombia had not permitted its own team of specialists to take blood samples from the boy to make its own confirmation of the DNA results.

"I told the Colombian foreign minister that that attitude casts a cloak of doubt on the investigation," Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro told state television Friday.

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