Colombian Crusader’s Message Fades Amid Scant Progress in FARC Talks

Colombian Crusader’s Message Fades Amid Scant Progress in FARC Talks

BOGOTÁ, Colombia -- Forty-six days after leaving his native Pasto, Gustavo Moncayo arrived in Bogotá with nothing more than a white t-shirt bearing a picture of his son, a metal chain draped across his chest and a walking stick.

Together with his two daughters, Moncayo walked over 1,000 kilometers to raise awareness and pressure the Colombian government and the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to negotiate the release of his son and hundreds of other victims kidnapped by the guerrillas. Many FARC hostages have been held for years, including former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and three U.S. contractors.

As the media covered the 55-year-old social science teacher's journey through exhaustion and injury, the country watched captivated. Jubilant crowds greeted Moncayo in every town he passed, and by the time he reached the capital, 55 other individuals with kidnapped relatives had joined his campaign.

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