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Eddie Mair | 14:55 UK time, Monday, 28 January 2008

Michael Buchanan will report from the country tonight.

He says: "The release of 2 women by FARC rebels earlier this month has once again focused Colombian - and indeed international - minds on the plight of the remaining hostages.

The freeing of the women - the first such release by the left-wing rebels in years - has raised the hopes of other hostages´ families that more could be liberated soon.


The most high profile hostage is Ingrid Betancourt, a French Colombian who was campaigning for the Presidency in 2002 when she was captured. Nothing has been heard of her since this video of her was broadcast in November

Her husband told me that its quite possible, given her high value status, that she could be last to be freed even if the Colombian government and the FARC can reach some agreement.


Bolivar Plaza is set to be mobbed on Feb 4 when a massive anti-FARC rally has been called. TV, radio and roadside posters are encouraging everyone to gather to urge the rebels to free all the hostages, although in truth few Colombians expect that to happen anytime soon - after more than 4 decades of living with the FARC, they feel extremely jaded. I´m not sure if Ken Livingstone's help will be required on that day to help with the pigeons.

Despite Colombia´s reputation as one of the world´s most dangerous countries, it has taken great strides forward in recent years. Crime has been reduced significantly and the economy is booming. In Bogota, the most striking feature of the city is its sheer size - everywhere seems to take 30 - 45 minutes to reach, no matter where you start from - and the traffic. The only way for a foreigner to travel is by taxi, which is an experience. Horns are blaring constantly and a red light is merely a suggestion as to what a vehicle should do.


Finally, a shot of what most people think of when you mention BBC."


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