Ingrid Betancourt: Free at last!

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I rejoiced at the news that former Colombian Presidential Candidate Ingrid Betancourt had been released after being taken as a hostage by FARC rebels more than six years ago.

Ingrid was abducted in February 2002 while she was campaigning for president as the candidate for the Colombian Green Party. Prior to her run for the Presidency Ingrid has been elected to the Colombian Chamber of Representatives and Senate, campaigning against corruption and for peace and social justice. Her first campaign distributed condoms, with the motto that she would be like a condom against corruption.

A dual French and Colombian national Ingrid’s plight became well known throughout Europe and her release was adopted as a matter of priority by France’s President Nicholas Sarkozy.

After being rebuffed by Colombian publishers, Ingrid Betancourt published her memoirs in French in March 2001 under the title La rage au cœur, successfully avoiding a legal challenge brought by former Colombian President Ernesto Samper. The memoir generated intense media coverage in France, where it was the number one best seller for four weeks and a best seller for another nine. It has since appeared in Spanish as La rabia en el corazón, and in English as Until Death Do Us Part: My Struggle to Reclaim Colombia (2002).

Speaking at a press conference after her release she thanked President Uribe, against whom she was running when she was kidnapped, and said he "has been a very good president. However, she said, "I continue to aspire to serve Colombia as president."

I certainly wish her well and when’s she’s declared I’ll be sending her a donation.

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In pictures: Betancourt freed