Top kidnapper captured

The Colombian authorities claim to have captured the man behind the country’s most notorious kidnapping. Security forces say they have arrested Jose Ramirez, a senior commander of the rebel group the National Liberation Army, or ELN.

Ramirez will be charged as the mastermind behind a mass kidnapping of an entire church congregation, which took place in May 1999. ELN guerrillas stormed into La Maria church in Cali in broad daylight, during a Sunday service, and herded the entire congregation onto waiting trucks. All of the hostages were eventually freed, but many had to pay hefty ransoms. The army arrested Ramirez in the southern Colombian province of Narino, by the Ecuadorian border.