Colombians march to demand release of rebel-held hostages

Well over a million Colombians, clad in white and shouting "No more kidnapping," marked their independence day on Sunday with marches and concerts demanding freedom for hostages still held by leftist rebels. Demonstrators chanted "Libertad!" - the Spanish word for freedom - in rallies across the Andean nation and in some 40 cities abroad, including Paris, London, Miami, Beijing, Sydney and New York. It was the second nationwide mobilization this year against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and its abhorred policy of kidnapping for ransom or political leverage. Latin America's last major rebel army holds dozens of hostages in Colombian jungle jails, some for more than a decade. Bogota's central Plaza Bolivar was jammed with marchers waving miniature white peace flags, balloons and Colombia's red, blue and yellow flag and carrying banners reading "Free them now!"