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You don’t think of cyclists being the target for terrorist
activity, but that’s perhaps because you don’t live in Columbia.

Luis Alberto Herrera, a now retired top Columbian cyclist was kidnapped on Saturday,
but happily, released on Sunday. This made him the second top Colombian cyclist to
be kidnapped in two months. Herrera was a former winner of the Tour of Spain and
also competed in the Tour de France and the Giro.

Herrera told press that his abductors had freed him after seeing news reports of
a massive military search operation for him. A ransom payment was mentioned, and
no one claimed responsibility. However, Herrera’s parents farm, where kidnappers
grabbed him Saturday, is in a mountainous area known as a stronghold for the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a left-wing rebel group.

Colombia has the dubious longtime distinction of holding the world’s highest kidnapping
rate. With a population of about 40 million, the country had nearly 3,000 abductions
in 1999.


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