Colombians at home and around world hold massive anti-guerrilla march

>BOGOTÁ, Colombia (AP) – Millions of Colombians wearing white T-shirts marched in their homeland and abroad Monday, to demand the country’s largest rebel group stop kidnapping people and release those it holds.

The idea of the protests against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as the FARC, was born less than a month ago on the social networking Web site Facebook, and more than 100,000 people in 165 cities around the world confirmed their participation.

The protests were concentrated in Colombia and Latin American capitals, though there were smaller protests in other places including Spain, Sweden, Hungary, France, Italy, India and Miami.

In Colombia’s capital, the protest swelled, with long lines of people shouting “Freedom! Freedom!” marching along Bogotá’s main thoroughfare. Television channels suspended normal programming to broadcast marches around the country, and anchors wore white the T-shirts symbolizing peace. In between reports, the channels aired proof-of-life videos of hostages who remain captive in the FARC’s camps in the jungle.

An estimated 4.8 million people turned out for 387 different events across Colombia, according to police operations commander Gen. Jose Riano.

“I hope the FARC is listening,” said former hostage Clara Rojas, who took part in the march in the capital. She was freed last month after nearly six years in captivity.

Colombia’s government says the FARC is holding more than 700 hostages, including three U.S. military contractors and former French-Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, whom it is trying to swap for imprisoned rebels. Talks between the rebels and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez recently led to the release of two hostages, including Rojas.

The FARC have called the march an attempt to bolster the political fortunes of its enemy, President Álvaro Uribe.

“If the suffering of those in captivity has been unjustifiably prolonged … this has been because of the inhuman intransigence and worthless pride of President Uribe,” rebel leaders said in a statement released Friday.