Freed Rojas hugs lost son at last

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The Independent US

After three years apart, the freed Colombian hostage, the politician Clara Rojas, was at last able to hug her son, fathered by one of her Farc guerrilla captors but taken from her when he was eight months old.

Ms Rojas gave birth to Emmanuel in 2004, but the guerrillas separated them. A peasant delivered him to Colombian social services, which – unaware of his true identity – placed him in the foster home in the capital, Bogota.

During the two-hour encounter at the foster home on Sunday, Emmanuel practised drawing with markers with his mother at his side. Photographs released by Colombia's child welfare agency also showed Emmanuel and Ms Rojas hugging. She is expected to get full custody within days and says she believes the father is dead.

Ms Rojas was held for nearly six years by Farc, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

She was emotional as she was greeted by government officials. "I am extremely moved to be back in my land," she said. "I feel like I've been reborn. I am back to life. [But] this is not a total happiness because many [hostages] remain and we are waiting for them."

Farc holds nearly 50 high-profile captives including three US defence contractors and the French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, who was abducted with Ms Rojas.

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