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Franco-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt returned to France at the beginning of July, after six years as a hostage of Colombia's Farc guerrillas. She thanked RFI for broadcasting messages from her family which she listened to during her captivity.


Ingrid Betancourt(Photo: E Ramalho)

Betancourt speaks to RFI

Speaking to RFI shortly after her release, freed Franco-Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt called on Colomboan President Alvaro Uribe to drop the "language of hatred" towards the Farc guerrillas who had held her hostage. We bring you translated excerpts from the interview she gave to our French service.

2008-07-16 12:13 TU

Colombia - background

 Uribe with Betancourt during a news conference at the Casa Narino palace in Bogota (Photo: Reuters)

Farc's long war and Betancourt's captivity

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), which has been holding Ingrid Betancourt hostage since 2002, has fought a guerrilla war for more than four decades. It is rooted in La Violencia, Colombia's civil war which pitched liberals against conservatives between 1948 to 1958.

2008-07-10 13:11 TU


Ingrid Betancourt at RFI's studio 136 on 7 July 2008(Photo: C. Abramowitz / RFI)

Hollywood producers courting Colombia for Betancourt film

Hollywood producers are courting the Colombian government for co-operation to film a movie based on Operation Jaque, the surprise manoeuvre carried out by security forces that rescued Franco-Colombian politican Ingrid Betancourt.

2008-12-29 10:48 TU


Ingrid Betancourt and peace commissioner Restrepo look at the passport of former FARC rebel Wilson Bueno Largo.(Photo: Reuters)

Betancourt welcomes former Farc rebel to France

Ingrid Betancourt has greeted a renegade from Colombia's Farc rebel group in France. He was the first to take advantage of a deal which gives the guerrillas special rights in exchange for releasing hostages.

2008-12-10 16:29 TU


 Alvaro Uribe (R) shakes the hand of ex-rebel "Isaza" (Photo: Reuters)

Paris offers asylum to Farc defector

France is ready to offer asylum to former Farc guerrilla 28-year-old "Isaza", who escaped with Colombian hostage Oscar Tulio Lizcano. Lizcano had been held by the Colombian rebels for eight years.  

2008-10-28 14:54 TU


The president of Colombia Alvaro Uribe (right) and his counterpart from Nicaragua Daniel Ortega (left).( Photo: Reuters )

Bogota refuses Ortega's mediation with Farc rebels

The Colombian government on Thursday rejected Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's offer to talk with the Farc guerilla group. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio da Silva visits Bogota this weekend and is offering to mediate in the Colombian armed conflict.

2008-07-18 11:40 TU


Alvaro Uribe(Photo: AFP)

Red Cross symbol used during Betancourt rescue

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has admitted that the army used the emblem of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) during the mission which freed 15 hostages, including Ingrid Betancourt, from the Farc rebels. The use of this symbol by military forces is forbidden by the Geneva Conventions.

2008-07-17 10:09 TU


French President Nicolas Sarkozy awards politician Ingrid Betancourt the Légion d'honneur(Credit: Reuters)

Betancourt honoured at Bastille Day celebrations

Franco-Colombian former hostage Ingrid Betancourt was given the Légion D'Honneur, one of France's highest honours, by President Nicolas Sarkozy during Bastille Day, the French national day celebrations.

2008-07-14 14:50 TU


The body of Raul Reyes.(Credit: Reuters)

Betancourt ransom paid in 2003, says Colombian TV

Colombian television station RCN has reported that an email from former Farc number two Raul Reyes described a ransom payment to the rebel group in 2003 for Ingrid Betancourt, without citing a specific sum.

2008-07-10 13:10 TU


A still from the film shows Betancourt before boarding the helicopter(Photo: Reuters)

Government denies paying for hostage release

Colombia's government has denied paying a ransom for the release of Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other hostages and shown parts of a video of the rescue operation. Defence Minister Manuel Santos says that the report on Suisse Romande radio was "absolutely false". In Paris Betancourt is to undergo medical tests on Saturday, although she says that she is "in great shape".

2008-07-06 13:22 TU


Ingrid Betancourt welcomed by President Sarkozy and his wife, 4 July 2008(Photo: AFP)

Betancourt returns to Paris amid questions surrounding her rescue

Ingrid Betancourt landed in Paris Friday after six years as a hostage. She was met by President Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni. The President said that "all of France was delighted" with her return. But a radio station has suggested that money was paid as part of the operation that won Betancourt's freedom.

2008-07-06 13:23 TU


Colombian military escort Ingrid Betancourt in Bogota on 2 July 2008(Photo: Reuters)

Israel contributed to hostage rescue operation

Israeli security experts helped prepare Tuesday's operation that freed 15 hostages, including Ingrid Betancourt. Since last year an Israeli firm has had a ten million dollar contract to provide support to the Colombians.

2008-07-04 13:52 TU


Ingrid Betancourt is reunited with her mother upon disembarking in Bogota(Photo: reuters)

Betancourt reunited with family ahead of return to France

After her first night of freedom, French-Colombian Ingrid Betancourt was re-united today with her children and former husand. She is due to fly to Paris on Friday where she will be welcomed by President Sarkozy.

2008-07-03 16:36 TU


Ingrid Betancourt in Bogota on WednesdayPhoto: Reuters

Betancourt and 14 others freed

The Colombian military rescued Franco-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and 14 others late Wednesday from the Farc rebels who had held her captive for six years in the Colombian jungle.

2008-07-02 19:22 TU

South America

The founder of FARC, Manuel Marulanda(Photo : Reuters)

Colombian rebel leader Marulanda dead

Colombia's main leftist rebel group the Farc, has said their top commander Manuel Marulanda has died of a heart attack. The rebel leader had been rumoured to have been suffering from ill-health, including prostrate cancer.

2008-07-10 13:18 TU


Bernard Kouchner(Photo : Reuters)

French Foreign Minister in Colombia

The French Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bernard Kouchner, today began a three-day tour of Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador. Negotiations for a possible release of Ingrid Betancourt are expected to head his agenda.

2008-04-29 08:33 TU