Former FARC captive recalls Colombia jungle horror

Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:21pm EST
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By Helen Murphy

BOGOTA (Reuters) - When the shooting started, police sergeant Luis Erazo scrambled into jungle canopy, the only escape from death as his Colombian guerrilla captors hurled grenades at him.

Four fellow hostages were shot dead by the FARC.

Erazo, held prisoner by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia for almost 12 years, was the only survivor when the FARC ordered the execution of captives as soldiers approached their hide-out during a weekend operation.

Three captors pursued Erazo, shooting and grazing him as he fled into the undergrowth.

"I heard the shots about 20, 30 meters from me and I thought, 'What's this, brother?'" Erazo told local radio.

"I felt the impact on my face and neck, the shots were at me, the only thing I could do was run."

In the southern jungles of Caqueta, the bodies of four members of Colombia's armed forces were found alongside their metal chains, three with bullets in their heads and a fourth shot in the back.

They had been held hostage by the drug-funded group for as long as 14 years, used as bargaining chips against the government.   Continued...

<p>Colombian police sergeant Luis alberto Erazo gestures upon his arrival at the airport in Bogota November 27, 2011. REUTERS/John Vizcaino</p>