Former FARC Hostage Ingrid Betancourt to Run for Colombian President

Ingrid Betancourt, the former Colombian senator who was abducted by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) 20 years ago, announced on Jan. 18 that she will run for president again.

“I will work tirelessly from this moment… to be your president,” Betancourt told reporters in the capital Bogota.

“I am here today to finish what I started with many of you in 2002,” Betancourt said.

FARC rebels abducted Betancourt while she was campaigning to be president in 2002.

The rebels held Betancourt captive for over six years until a military operation rescued her in 2008.

Betancourt, the 60-year-old leader of the Oxygen Green Party, said she will run to represent centrist parties in the race.

“For decades, we have had only bad options: extreme right, extreme left. The moment has come to have a centrist option,” Betancourt said.

Betancourt, who has mostly lived in France after her rescue, vowed to tackle corruption and poverty if she wins the May 29 elections.

“I am here to claim the rights of 51 million Colombians who are not finding justice, because we live in a system designed to reward criminals,” Betancourt said.

FARC was a Marxist group that declared war against the government for over 50 years, killing 200,00 people.

The rebels also kidnapped at least 21,000 people and recruited 18,000 minors.

The group signed a peace deal with the government in 2016, but splinter groups are still at war with the central government.


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