CARACAS — Four Colombian politicians held in captivity by FARC guerrillas for at least six years were reunited in Caracas with their families amidst tears and laughter Wednesday evening after gaining their freedom six hours earlier in the Colombian jungle.
''It's a wonderful emotion,'' former Sen. Luis Eladio Pérez told a Venezuelan government channel. ``I spent seven years in inhuman conditions. I don't know how I survived.''
Pérez and the other three were taken later to the Miraflores presidential palace and met with President Hugo Chávez, who managed their release in what for him is both a diplomatic and public relations triumph.
Traveling under the insignia of the International Committee of the Red Cross, two Venezuelan helicopters picked up the hostages around noon in a jungle clearing in southern Colombia, at a spot designated by the FARC guerrillas.
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