Colombian Rebels Planned to Extort Microsoft, Nike, Santos Says

Colombia’s guerrilla group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia planned to extort money from companies operating in the Andean country, including Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Nike Inc. (NKE), President Juan Manuel Santos said.

Colombia’s army captured a member of the group known as FARC within the past several days. The rebel, known only by the alias “Brayan,” held extortion letters ready to send to 130 companies, including Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), Almacenes Exito SA (EXITO) and unspecified oil companies, Santos said.

“This was an important blow by the army against the FARC,” Santos said in a statement on the presidential website. “We found 130 letters ready to be distributed.”

When Santos took office in August 2010, he pledged to crack down on rebel groups as he seeks to draw investment in oil wells and mining. He said he would expel any companies that deal with illegal groups. The FARC have stepped up attacks and kidnappings over the past year as energy investments pour into the country.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Emery in Lima at aemery1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net.

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