Colombian Rebel Convicted in 1999 Killing of Americans

By Dialogo
September 24, 2012

A Colombian court has overturned the acquittal of a fugitive rebel of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and sentenced him to 40 years in prison for the murder of three Americans kidnapped and killed in 1999.

Angelo Caceres, aka “El Piloso,” was acquitted in 2008, but prosecutors appealed that ruling, leading to a court judgment on September 20, in the Arauca region near the border with Venezuela.

American citizens Terence Freitas, 24, Ingrid Washinawatok, 41, and Lahe’ena’e Gay, 39, who had been working to preserve a local indigenous group, were kidnapped in the remote jungle region in 1999.

Their bodies – bound, blindfolded and shot – were found just across the border in Venezuela.

Two other fugitive members of the FARC have been convicted for taking part in the killings, and arrest warrants have been issued against all three.