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DNA Test - Solving the Columbian Hostage Mystery


In what must be one of the strangest hostage-taking incidents in modern times, a DNA test has shown that a young boy thought to be held hostage is in fact living in an orphanage in Bogota. The taking of hostages in Columbia is, unfortunately, quite commonplace. In this bizarre case, reported in the Guardian, the hostage takers seem to have made the fundamental error of not actually having the hostage in their possession. A child thought to have been held hostage was actually shown through a DNA test to be safe and well, living in a foster home in the Columbian capital of Bogota.

DNA Test - A Scientific Process

The report in the Guardian states that a DNA test carried out in January 2008 revealed that the boy who was believed to be in captivity was actually safe and well and not being held hostage at all. This was an important case and the DNA test was imperative because the rebels claiming to be holding the boy captive offered his release as a key concession to Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez. The DNA test which showed him to not being held hostage confused matters somewhat. A DNA test is the only scientific procedure that can provide results with nigh on infallible accuracy and that’s why it is used in paternity testing and to capture criminals from DNA samples.

DNA Test - Providing The Answers

In the mysterious case of the Columbian boy erroneously claimed to be held captive, the DNA test was able to prove with a degree of accuracy that the boy was not in the rebels' possession. The Chief Federal Prosecutor in the case announced that, “The conclusion of the scientific experts is that there's a greater probability the boy belongs to the Rojas family than to any other family”. The reason for this belief is as a result of the DNA test which showed that there was an absolute match between the child in question’s mitochondrial DNA and that of his mother and brother.

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