A Colombian rebel group has appealed to actor Denzel Washington and film-makers Oliver Stone and Michael Moore to advocate a deal with the US government to swap imprisoned guerrillas for American hostages.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) addresses a letter to several left-wing figures besides Washington, Stone and Moore, including activist REVEREND JESSE JACKSON, scholar Noam Chomsky, writer JAMES PETRAS and abolitionist ANGELA DAVIS.
FARC spokesman PAUL REYES says, "To the people of the United States, we ask for your always generous solidarity to pressure PRESIDENT George W Bush and his government to support a prisoner exchange in Colombia."
Three US defence contractors THOMAS HOWES, KEITH STANSELL and MARC GONSALVES have been held captive by the rebels since their plane crashed in southern Colombia over three years ago (FEB03).
Reyes explains, "Howes, Stansell and Gonsalves are alive in our custody, treated with respect and dignity in the jungle. They are the only North American prisoners alive in the world."
The FARC's letter stipulate the exchange must include rebel RICARDO PALMERA (aka SIMON TRINIDAD), who is currently standing trial in Washington DC on charges of providing material support to a terrorist group and hostage-taking.