The United States will award three former military contract workers who
were held hostage by the FARC for over five years with the civilian
equivalent of the Purple Heart.
Keith Stansell, Marc Gonsalves and Thomas Howes were captured by FARC rebels in 2003 when their spy plane crashed in the Colombian jungle. They were released in July 2008 in ‘Operation Jaque’, the military operation that also secured the release of Ingrid Betancourt and eleven members of the Colombian security forces.