Senior Member of FARC Terrorist Organization Indicted for His Role in Hostage-Taking of Three Americans Recently Rescued in Colo

WASHINGTON , Aug. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hely Mejia Mendoza , known better by his alias "Martin Sombra," was indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C. , on Friday on seven counts of terrorism and weapons charges arising out of his...


The newly unsealed Indictment also names the FARC's overall "military" commander, Jorge Briceno Suarez , aka "Mono Jojoy" for his role in the hostage taking of the three Americans. A proof of life video of the three Americans released by the FARC in 2003 shows defendant Mono Jojoy telling the Americans that they are "prisoners...in the power of the FARC," and that the governments of the United States and Colombia have "abandoned and forgotten you."

The United States government, through the Rewards for Justice Program of the Department of State, is offering a reward of up to five million dollars for information leading to the apprehension or conviction of any FARC commanders involved in the hostage taking of Keith Stansell , Thomas Howes , and Marc Gonsalves , and the murder of Thomas Janis , including the four fugitives named in the Indictment unsealed today.

The Department of State's Rewards for Justice Program has been employed worldwide to fight terrorism. Since the program's inception in 1984, the United States has paid more than $77 million to more than 50 persons who provided credible information that led to the apprehension of individuals or prevented acts of international terrorism.

Both indictments announced today were the result of an investigation led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Miami Field Office and are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Kohl of the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Columbia , with the support of the Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice