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June 7, 2007

Forgotten And Suffering

vert.pinchao.ap.jpg[Image: Jhon Frank Pinchao holds a chain like the ones used by Colombian rebels to restrain him and fellow hostages. He escaped after over eight years in captivity.]

Three US military contractors are still alive after being kidnapped by leftwing Columbian rebels years ago. That word came from Jhan Frank Pinchao, a Columbian policeman who had been held hostage by the FARC in the jungle for eight years (he walked for 17 days in the Amazon jungle to escape his captors, and says he had been with the three Americans for years (at night he had been connected to one of them by a wire wrapped around his neck).

Pinchao said the Americans were alive but suffering. And there are others there also ....

They are: Keith Stansell of Georgia, who is now 43 years old. Tom Howes of Merritt Island, Florida, now 54 and Marc Gonsalves of Bristol, Connecticut.

All are husbands, fathers and sons and have been pretty much forgotten by the US press.

Their drug surveillance plane, a single engine Cessna "Caravan," crashed in the remote Columbian mountains in February of 2003.

There were five men aboard and all survived the crash. They were then captured by FARC rebels.

The pilot, an American named Tom Janis, was executed, as was a Columbian intelligence officer who was also on the plane. The other three Americans were led off into the jungle.

The men are Department of Defense contractors, employed by a subsidiary of Northrop-Grumman, and working under the military's Southern Command on drug interdiction, looking specifically for coca plant fields.

The men are Keith Stansell, Mark Gonsalves and Tom Howes. They have effectively been forgotten by all but their loved ones. When was the last time you ever heard the US government talking about them?

More here ...

I can't help but wonder why it is that the media is all over stories like the ridiculous exploits of Paris Hilton, but can't find the time or print space to report on Americans who help protect this country and who are suffering greatly. Why no coverage, and why hasn't our government gotten these men back by now?

Previously posted at Hyscience

Posted by Richard at June 7, 2007 1:10 AM

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