Rebel group in Colombia to stop kidnaps for ransom

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The lead negotiator for the EMC rebels at the peace talks is Leopoldo Durán

The rebel group in Colombia, called EMC, said it will no longer kidnap people to get money.

The EMC is a big group that separated from the Farc in Colombia. It includes rebels who didn’t stop fighting when the Farc made peace in 2016.

The news is good for Gustavo Petro’s government, which is working on making peace with the EMC.

Kidnappings for money have been increasing in Colombia this year.

The father of Liverpool footballer Luis Díaz was taken by force, but then let go.

Mr Díaz Snr and his wife were taken from their home in Barrancas, Colombia. This brought attention to the problem of kidnapping, which some criminals and rebel groups use to make money.

EMC announced on Tuesday that it’s a win for President Petro, who wants to bring “complete peace” to Colombia, but kidnappings for money may still happen.

The National Liberation Army (ELN) is a group in Colombia that kidnaps people for money. They are one of many criminal and rebel groups in Colombia that still continue to do this.

The Ombudsman’s office announced this week that 91 people are still being kept as hostages in different parts of the country.

A recent report from Colombia’s Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation shows that the number of people kidnapped in the first 10 months of this year is the highest it has been since 2016, the year the government made a peace deal with the Farc.

The EMC, which stands for Estado Mayor Central (Central General Command in Spanish), is the biggest rebel group that formed after the peace deal in 2016. It is estimated to have around 3,000 members.

It is most busy in the areas of Caquetá, Guaviare, Meta and Putumayo.

Talks with the EMC have been difficult. In May, President Petro stopped the peace agreement with the rebel group because they killed four indigenous teenagers who were forced to join the group and tried to escape.

The two sides started talking about peace again last month.

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