Colombia orders arrest of rebel for 1999 killings

Sep 21, 2012, 12:21 AM

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) – A judge has revoked the acquittal of a leftist guerrilla accused in the killings of three Americans in Colombia in 1999 and ordered his arrest, the Attorney General’s Office said Thursday.

Angelo Caceres, alias “El Piloso,” was accused as a co-author in the three deaths in 2006 but a court absolved him of the crime in December 2008.

The Attorney General’s Office said that prosecutors appealed the acquittal and that a court in Arauca province has revoked it and ordered the arrest of Caceres. Prosecutors said Caceres’ whereabouts were not known.

The case involved the slaying of Terence Freitas, 24, of Los Angeles; Ingrid Washinawatok, 41, of New York; and Lahe’ena’e Gay, 39, of Pahoa, Hawaii, who were in Colombia to help set up a school system for the U’wa Indian tribe.

Their bodies were found in a Venezuelan pasture just across the Colombian border on March 5, 1999, one week after they were kidnapped.

Leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia later said the guerrillas involved thought the Americans were spies.

Two other FARC rebels have been sentenced to 40 years in prison for the killings.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Colombia orders arrest of rebel for 1999 killings