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Jan 15,2008
Freed hostage reunited with son
by UPI

BOGOTA -- A hostage freed by her captors in Colombia has been given full custody of her 3-year-old son taken from her while in captivity, it was reported Monday.

However, a Colombian child welfare official said it could be about two weeks before Clara Rojas' son, Emmanuel, is returned to her because he must first undergo a series of psychological and medical exams, CNN reported.

Rojas got a chance to hug her son Sunday during a visit with him at a foster home.

"Emmanuel must be with his mother," said Elvira Forero, head of the Child Welfare Institute of Colombia. "He must enjoy this right that has been taken away from him by the FARC."

FARC is the leftist rebel group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which held Rojas for several years in a jungle hideout. FARC, which has been fighting the Colombian government for decades, holds about 700 hostages.

"He spent his first 11 months of life with a fractured arm, without any medical support that would help him cope with his pain," Forero said. "Today, he is a happy boy. He is sweet and loving ...."

FARC freed Rojas and former congresswoman Consuelo Gonzalez Thursday following negotiations with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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