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Byline: Gary Marx
BOGOTA, Colombia _ It was well past midnight when 11-year-old Ivan Osorio finally got the chance to speak to his kidnapped father.
"Hi, Daddy, how are you?" Osorio asked softly as he craned his neck to reach the microphone. "I hope that you are well. I love you very much."
Osorio is one of hundreds of Colombians who each week broadcast messages to their loved ones through "The Voices of Kidnapping" radio program.
With thousands of Colombians held hostage by a dizzying array of insurgent groups and violent criminal bands, the radio show that airs each Sunday morning has become a lifeline for families devastated by the loss of a father, mother, sister or brother.
But the show _ a call-in program with occasional studio guests _ also is a savior for the captives, providing a glimmer of hope in an otherwise dismal existence. Many kidnap victims are held for years in freezing mountain camps or in isolated jungle hideouts with no contact with the outside world except perhaps for a simple transistor radio.
The subjects of the messages are the stuff of everyday life _ news of a birthday, a son or daughter entering college, the loss of a child's first tooth, the …