Ex-Hostage Claims FARC Suffering HIV Epidemic

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A Colombian Army sargent who was held for nearly 12 years as a FARC hostage releases a book in which he claims that many rebels have contracted HIV, and that alias ‘Mono Jojoy’ ordered infected people to be killed.

Sergeant Arbey Delgado was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC) in 1998, and was liberated in June 2010 in the army’s Operation Chameleon.

Delgado’s memoir of his time in captivity, “Lo que en la selva quedo” (“That Which Stayed in the Jungle”) is released this month. In one chapter, excerpted in El Espectador, he says that HIV is spreading rapidly through the guerrilla group’s Eastern Bloc.

He quotes one guerrilla as saying that commander Mono Jojoy had everyone in the front tested for the disease, and ordered all sufferers to be shot. The sergeant said that, based on his time in the jungle, he thought the epidemic could be serious.

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