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House resolution passed to aid longest-held U.S. missionaries

WASHINGTON (BP)–The U.S. House of Representatives on Sept. 9 passed the New Tribes Mission Resolution to bring added international attention to the Jan. 31, 1993, abduction of three American missionaries in southern Panama.
The House’s voice vote was apparently unanimous, according to the office of sponsoring Congressman Roy Blunt, R.-Mo., former president of Southwest Baptist University, Bolivar, Mo.
The three missionaries, Mark Rich, David Mankins and Rick Tenenoff , were kidnapped from their homes in a Kuna Indian village in southern Panama by Colombian revolutionaries more than six years ago. They are believed to be the longest-held American hostages in Colombia.
Their missions agency, New Tribes Mission, is based in Sanford, Fla.
Blunt said he has met with the families of the men, “and their pain will continue until some real answers about the fate of their loved ones are brought to light. This resolution is the least of what the Congress and the president should do to find those answers.”
The resolution encourages any individual or group with knowledge of the whereabouts of the missionaries to come forward. To pressure the Colombian government to release information about the abduction, the resolution calls for President Clinton and other American officials to raise the issue of the kidnapping to foreign governments, religious institutions and other private organizations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and Amnesty International at every opportunity.
Blunt introduced the resolution after Dan Germann of New Tribes Mission and Tania Rich, wife of March Rich, testified about the kidnapping March 31 during a committee hearing. The other wives, Nancy Mankins of Sanford and Patti Tenenoff of Camdenton, Mo., also attended the hearing.
The House Committee on International Relations approved the resolution in mid-July.