The lives of Javier and Pilar Forero could have been the subject of envy.
He was a successful dentist who had gone into business with a chain of jewelry stores in their hometown of Bogota, Colombia. She had just received her university degree and looked forward to a professional career as an interior designer. Their young son, Mateo, had just begun to attend school. They were involved in a growing evangelical church, where Javier also served as youth pastor.
Life was good. But all that changed in 2001 when guerrillas kidnapped Javier at gunpoint and held him captive in the jungle for 17 hours. Released after he agreed to pay what he calls a monthly “war tax” of $40,000, he went directly to the police, only to learn that they couldn’t protect him.