BOGOTA

- The mother of one of three American military contractors kidnapped by leftist Colombian rebels in 2003 said she was heartbroken to learn that her son is suffering from hepatitis deep in the Amazon jungle.

"I knew in my heart he was alive, but I didn't know he was sick," Jo Rosano of Bristol, Conn., mother of Marc Gonsalves, said yesterday.

Rosano said she felt "dead inside" when police officer Jhon Frank Pinchao (left) told reporters Wednesday that her son had hepatitis. Pinchao, held for eight years, said he fled April 28 from the same jungle camp where the Americans and former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt were being held. *

-Associated Press