Colombia’s Ingrid Betancourt seeks divorce

March 17th, 2009 - 2:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Bogota, March 17 (IANS) Colombia’s former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, who was held captive by rebels for more than six years before her release in July last year, is seeking divorce from her husband Juan Carlos Lecompte, a media report said.
Betancourt, who has a dual French-Colombian citizenship, will begin divorce proceedings from her husband on the basis of their defacto separation during her more than six years of captivity under the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), EFE reported Monday.

According to the report, Betancourt has already filed the suit. The Colombian law permits filing for divorce when a couple has been separated for two years.

Betancourt has two children, Melanie and Lorenzo Delloye, from her first marriage with a French diplomat.

Betancourt married Lecompte in 1997, but five years later she was abducted by FARC during her campaigning for presidency.

FARC, Colombia’s largest leftist guerrilla group, is reportedly still holding some 500 hostages.

The former presidential candidate was freed July 2, 2008, following a rescue operation conducted by the army in the Colombian jungles. Three US defence contractors, among others, were also rescued in the secret military operation.

During Betancourt’s captivity Lecompte kept up a personal campaign for her release. Lecompte, however, regretted that Betancourt did not acknowledge his efforts for her release. Betancourt’s attitude towards him was distinctly cold, the report said.

The weekly Semana magazine said Betancourt’s divorce action was rejected by Lecompte’s attorneys, who “allege that it was not a voluntary separation but one caused by force majeure (by force)”.

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