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Ex-guerrillas Will Return Bolivar’s Sword They Stole

August 10, 1990 GMT

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) _ Former leftist guerrillas who signed a peace treaty with the government say they will return the sword of Colombian liberator Simon Bolivar they stole 16 years ago.

The M-19 Movement, which became a political party in March following years of armed struggle, said Thursday that it will hand over Bolivar’s sword to the government on Dec. 17, the 160th anniversary of the liberator’s death.

The sword was used in Colombia’s battle of independence from Spain. M-19 stole it in 1974 from Bolivar House, the patriot’s former residence in Bogota.

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The rebels in 1985 took over the Palace of Justice. About 115 people died in fighting with the army, including 11 supreme court justices.

After signing the peace treaty the group’s presidential candidate, Antonio Navarro, placed third in the May election. When President Cesar Gaviria took office Tuesday, he appointed Navarro as minister of health.