Ingrid Betancourt named Woman of the Year

September 6th, 2008 - 3:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Vienna, Sep 6 (IANS) Colombia’s former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt who was rescued in July from the captivity of the country’s leftist rebels has been named the Woman of the Year by the World Awards Association (WAA), the EFE news agency reported Saturday.The Vienna-based World Awards Association Friday named Betancourt as the recipient of the 2008 Woman of the Year award, the report said.

She will receive the honour at a ceremony Oct 26, details of which would be announced later. Betancourt, 46, has dual Colombian and France citizenship.

The award is given away every year to honour women for outstanding achievement in various fields.

WAA president former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and its chairman Georg Kindel said in a statement that Ingrid Betancourt has become “a role model for millions (for courage and her relentless pursuit for freedom)”.

The Colombian army rescued her in July from the captivity of the country’s largest leftist guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

“I am extremely honoured and will humbly accept this award,” Betancourt said in the statement.

“I see this prize not only as a call to continue the fight for freedom of rest of the hostages held by FARC, but also for all those who are being suppressed by the group,” she said.

“It is my goal to unite all forces to work for the oppressed and those whose voices were not heard.”

In the recent past, celebrities such as US singers Cher and Bianca Jagger, Queen Noor of Jordan and late Benazir Bhutto were honoured in different categories of the award.

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