Dec. 4, 2009 -- Three members of U.S.-branded terrorist group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, were arrested yesterday in Colombia and charged with kidnapping a U.S. citizen and holding the man hostage for 10 months.
In April 2008, members of FARC allegedly targeted Cecilio Juan Padron, a Cuban-American businessman during a trip to Panama, and took him hostage, according to U.S. law enforcement and diplomatic officials.
Padron, a Cuban exile with dual citizenship, was reportedly captured in Panama City, Panama, by Panamanian police officers and then turned over to the FARC for an unspecified sum of money, according to a federal law enforcement official.
ABC News first reported Padron's kidnapping last year.
The alleged kidnappers include Edilberto Berrio Ortiz, a.k.a "El Gavilan," Alejandro Palacios Rengifo, a.k.a "El Gato," and Anderson Chamapuro Dogirama, a.k.a "El Tigre." They have been indicted in a U.S. federal court in Manhattan on two counts of hostage-taking, which has a maximum penalty of life in prison.
According to the indictment, the three men guarded Padron while they kept him hostage.
Drug Enforcement Administration acting administrator Michele Leonhart said the kidnapping "shows the world once again that the FARC is a violent, narco-terrorist organization. It is bent on undermining civil society and threatens innocent civilians in Colombia and other countries."
The rebel group is designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.
In September 2009, other Colombian nationals were indicted for authorizing the kidnapping and demanding a ransom from the family.
The U.S. Attorney's office also indicted Luis Fernando Mora-Pestana and Julio Enrique Lemos-Moreno, who are believed to be the leaders of the FARC's 57th Front and who some DEA officials consider to be the most violent element of the terrorist organization.
Padron was released from captivity in February 2009 after a ransom was paid to the FARC. U.S. and Justice Department officials would not comment on the ransom or how much was paid.
The investigation into the Padron's captors has been run by the DEA's New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Miami.
ABC News' Kirit Radia contributed to this report.