BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — A famed anti-kidnapping foundation created during the darkest days of the country's drug-fueled conflict is shutting its doors after a quarter century.
The Free Country foundation organized some of the biggest marches in Colombia's history in the early 1990s to reject the proliferation of abductions by leftist rebels and drug cartels.
But the number of kidnappings has fallen sharply as the country's conflict winds down. Current director Maria Consuelo Jaubregui said Wednesday that the organization's leaders had determined they had fulfilled their mission of raising awareness about the horrific crime.
Colombia reported 205 kidnappings for ransom last year by criminal gangs. That compares to more than 3,500 at the peak of guerrilla violence in 2000.