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June 4, 2010

Held Hostage

A kidnapping victim in Colombia spends his nights listening to a radio station that plays messages from the families of the kidnapped. That and other stories of people held captive—by criminals, by paperwork, and in one man's case, his own body—and the ways they try to cope.
Viviana Duarte, one of many Colombian children whose father was kidnapped by the FARC. He’s been gone since 1998. Photo by Jacob Silberberg.

Prologue

Ira Glass speaks with a man named Daniel Johnson, who is in the K&R business. That's the kidnap and ransom business, where a company helps you negotiate to get back your loved one. Daniel explains some surprising strategies for surviving as a hostage. (6 minutes)

Captive Audience

So much kidnapping happens in Colombia that the biggest radio station in the country has a show aimed specifically at an audience of kidnapping victims. Reporter Annie Correal tells the story. Annie originally produced this as a longer story with Jay Allison for the website transom.org. Annie Correal manages Cowbird and is a Senior Producer at Radio Ambulante, a new Spanish-language radio storytelling project. They've just launched their website and are raising money for their first episodes on Kickstarter. (14 minutes)

Song:

“Colombia” by Jan Hammer