Colombia urged to facilitate Betancourt’s releaseApril 7th, 2008 - 5:36 pm ICT by admin
Paris, April 7 (IANS) Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez has urged Colombia to remove obstacles to secure the release of former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, in captivity of leftist insurgents. “People who are responsible for leading the democratic institutions and facilitating the current humanitarian programme must share a bigger responsibility for her release,” Fernandez said, Spain’s EFE news agency reported Monday.
Betancourt, 46, who was abducted by Colombia’s largest insurgency group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) during an election campaign in 2002, is reportedly very ill.
Last month, a priest in the southern Colombian province of Guaviare claimed that he had seen Betancourt visiting a local clinic for treatment in February.
On Sunday, the Argentine president urged the FARC to release Betancourt, who holds dual Colombian-French citizenship.
Fernandez arrived in Paris Sunday to discuss Betancourt’s release with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
She also attended a march in the French capital to demand her release by the FARC.
Last week an international humanitarian relief team led by France was sent to Colombia to provide medical help for ailing Betancourt, though the team is yet to establish contact with her.
Spain and Switzerland are also participating in the mission. Her family said she has hepatitis B.
On Thursday, the Colombian president Avaro Uribe signed a decree approving the release the jailed guerrillas but insisted at the same time the first move must come from the FARC.
In response, the FARC said it had unilaterally released some of its hostages as a humanitarian move and Betancourt would be released after their jailed cadres were set free.
In February, the group released six of their hostages, including Betancourt’s running mate Clara Rojas, following intervention of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
The US and the European Union has designated FARC as a foreign terrorist organisation. The group has around 10,000 armed rebels.
- Colombia's FARC frees 10 captives - Apr 03, 2012
- Colombian guerrilla who guarded Betancourt surrenders - Sep 15, 2009
- Colombian rebels took Betancourt to clinic: priest - Mar 29, 2008
- FARC guerrilla wanted by US captured in Colombia - Nov 02, 2009
- Colombian boy walks 70 km to seek father's release - Jul 04, 2010
- Seven rebels killed in bombing raid in Colombia - Nov 29, 2009
- French mission to seek access to Betancourt - Apr 02, 2008
- No grudges at talks with Colombian government: FARC - Sep 04, 2012
- Mission in search of Betancourt under way: France - Apr 03, 2008
- 'FARC leader's death won't hasten hostage release' - May 28, 2008
- Colombia rebels appear to soften terms for prisoner swap - Feb 10, 2009
- No cease fire during talks with FARC: Colombian president - Sep 08, 2012
- Eight miners killed in Colombia - Apr 09, 2010
- Colombian rebels say they're holding French reporter - May 02, 2012
- Colombian troops tricked leftist rebels to free Betancourt, 14 others (Second lead) - Jul 03, 2008
Tags: argentine president, betancourt, clara rojas, colombian president, cristina fernandez, democratic institutions, efe news agency, farc, french capital, french citizenship, french president nicolas, hepatitis b, hugo chavez, humanitarian relief, president hugo chavez, revolutionary armed forces of colombia, revolutionary armed forces of colombia farc, running mate, venezuelan president hugo, venezuelan president hugo chavez