• Costa Rica Real Estate

FARC rebel pleads guilty to taking US hostages in 2003

August 26, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A former FARC rebel pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. court to taking three U.S. citizens hostage in Colombia in 2003.

Diego Alfonso Navarete Beltrán, who was extradited from Colombia to the United States in 2014, entered the guilty plea in the U.S. District Court of the District of Colombia. Navarete Beltrán, 42, had initially pleaded not guilty upon his extradition.

He now faces the possibility of a maximum sentence of life in prison for hostage-taking, in a sentencing hearing to be held in November, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

“With this guilty plea, Diego Alfonso Navarrete Beltran has admitted his participation in the hostage-taking and captivity of three Americans by the FARC, a Colombian terrorist organization,” Assistant U.S. Attorney General John Carlin said in a statement.

The rebel group kidnapped U.S. defense contractors Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes and Keith Stansell in 2003 after their plane made an emergency landing during an anti-drug surveillance mission.

The three Americans were held for the next five years, and the DOJ said that for two of those years the hostages were under the control of the FARC unit in which Navarette Beltrán was an armed guard.

Navarette Beltrán is the third member of the FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, to be convicted for his role in the hostage-taking, according to the DOJ.

Another FARC rebel, Alexander Beltran Herrera, pleaded guilty in U.S. court last March to participating in the hostage-taking.

Peace talks between the FARC and the government of Colombia resumed last month in Havana.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Despite reports, Costa Rica continues to not be an island
Tico Times Shade
1 views
Tico Times Shade
1 views

Despite reports, Costa Rica continues to not be an island

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 23, 2019

Despite recent reports to the contrary, The Tico Times has confirmed that Costa Rica is not an island. This news…

Costa Rican dog attends trial as a victim of animal abuse
Costa Rica
45 views
Costa Rica
45 views

Costa Rican dog attends trial as a victim of animal abuse

AFP and The Tico Times - July 23, 2019

Champion, a two-year-old dog, became on Monday the first animal in Latin America to attend the trial of his former…

Flamingo Fishing Rodeo set to begin in one of sportfishing’s best destinations
Fishing
56 views
Fishing
56 views

Flamingo Fishing Rodeo set to begin in one of sportfishing’s best destinations

The Tico Times - July 23, 2019

Flamingo, Guanacaste, is one of sportfishing’s legendary destinations, an idyllic laid-back beach community located on Costa Rica's northern Pacific coast.…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!