A resolution welcoming home Keith Stansell, Thomas Howes, and Marc Gonsalves, three citizens of the United States who were held hostage for over five years by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) after their plane crashed on February 13, 2003

Bill Number: 
S.Res.627
Bill Location: 
Date of Last Action: 
Friday, August 1, 2008
Relevant Text: 

SRES 627 IS

110th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. RES. 627

Welcoming home Keith Stansell, Thomas Howes, and Marc Gonsalves, three citizens of the United States who were held hostage for over five years by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) after their plane crashed on February 13, 2003.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

July 26, 2008

Mr. NELSON of Florida (for himself, Mr. ISAKSON, Mr. MARTINEZ, Mr. DODD, Mr. COLEMAN, Mr. LIEBERMAN, Mr. CARDIN, Mr. CRAIG, Mr. BOND, Mr. DOMENICI, Mr. HATCH, and Mr. CHAMBLISS) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

RESOLUTION

Welcoming home Keith Stansell, Thomas Howes, and Marc Gonsalves, three citizens of the United States who were held hostage for over five years by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) after their plane crashed on February 13, 2003.

Whereas a Congressional Resolution in 2007 (S. Con. Res. 53) condemned the kidnapping and hostage-taking of three citizens of the United States, Keith Stansell, Thomas Howes, and Marc Gonsalves for over four years by the FARC, and demanded their immediate and unconditional release;

Whereas the Senate expresses sorrow at the murder of Tom Janis by the FARC, another citizen of the United States that was on the downed aircraft, and Luis Alcedes Cruz, a member of the Colombian military, as well as citizens of the United States who died during a hostage search mission in 2003;

Whereas the Government of Colombia carried out a historic rescue mission on July 2, 2008, freeing 15 hostages who the FARC had kidnapped and held in captivity, including these three citizens of the United States, Ingrid Betancourt, and military and police personnel of Colombia;

Whereas the armed forces of Colombia planned, led, and executed the rescue operation without a single gunshot;

Whereas the United States Government played a key supportive role in the rescue mission by the armed forces of Colombia;

Whereas the FARC is designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the Department of State and the European Union;

Whereas the FARC utilizes kidnappings for ransom, extortion, and the drug trade to finance its activities;

Whereas the FARC committed atrocities against citizens of both Colombia and the United States;

Whereas the FARC has kidnapped at least 36 citizens of the United States since 1980, and killed 10 citizens of the United States;

Whereas the FARC currently holds an estimated 700 people as hostages; and

Whereas over 50 FARC leaders have been indicted in the United States for drug trafficking: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) welcomes Keith Stansell, Thomas Howes, and Marc Gonsalves home to the United States after being held for over five years by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC);

(2) celebrates with the families and relatives of the hostages who kept faith despite being unsure of the fates of their family members for more than five years;

(3) expresses gratitude to the Government of Colombia and the armed forces of Colombia for successfully rescuing the hostages, and applauds the effective contribution of the United States Government to this effort;

(4) calls for the immediate release of all hostages held by the FARC and other armed terrorist groups in Colombia; and

(5) urges the FARC to lay down their weapons and reject terrorism.