- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 4, 2003

RIO DE JANEIRO (Agence France-Presse) The high command of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia has three bases or hide-outs in Brazil, the daily O Estado de Sao Paulo reported during the weekend, quoting Colombian intelligence sources.

The report said the largest of the bases is in the southern Brazilian state of Parana, in a region known as Guaira, on land owned by a naturalized Brazilian of Lebanese origin who has been in government custody for seven months.

The other two used as stopover posts for fighters who are sent to Europe are in Miranda, Mato Grosso do Sul state; and in Boa Vista, Roraima state, according to the report published Saturday.

The 17,000-member Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, is Latin America's largest and most powerful insurgency. On Feb. 24, it announced the capture of three Americans seized after their plane went down in southern Colombia.

The guerrillas say they shot down the plane and that the captives are CIA employees. U.S. officials insist the aircraft had mechanical trouble. The bodies of two other passengers, an American and a Colombian, were found near the wreckage of the aircraft, which was pocked with machine-gun and rocket fire. Both men had been shot.

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