Ingrid Betancourt, kidnapped for six years by Colombia’s main rebel group FARC while running for president in 2002, told local media that she might return to Colombian politics. She also endorsed the incumbent president.
The former presidential candidate told media outlet BluRadio that it is possible that she might run for Colombia’s Senate next year as the liberal Green Party has called her back to be a leading candidate.
Betancourt said that such a decision would be “very difficult,” and she worries about how a move like that would affect her family.
“This is the decision of a Colombian of this century, and a victim of kidnapping,” said Betancourt, adding that she feels an obligation to serve Colombians young and old who have been exposed to violence and pain.
On the topic of President Juan Manuel Santos’ reelection, Betancourt said that she likes the idea of a second term for Santos and emphasized that he has been “a great warrior.” She noted that, as Defense Minister, Santos delivered substantial blows to the FARC.
“Without [Santos’ work] we would not even be sitting at the table with the FARC,” she said, referring to peace talks occurring between Colombia and the rebel group in Havana, Cuba.
The former candidate did assert however that there should be absolutely no impunity when it comes to those members of the FARC who committed the most heinous of crimes, echoing a speech made by Santos in mid-September.
Betancourt was campaigning for the presidency in 2002 when she was kidnapped by the FARC. The politician remained a hostage for six years until the Colombian government freed her through what became known as “Operacion Jaque,” (Operation Check) while Juan Manuel Santos was Defense Minister.
Betancourt lives in France as she has dual citizenship from her previous marriage with a French diplomat. She has won multiple international awards, written a best-selling memoir documenting her kidnapping, and various documentaries have been made based on her story.
NEWS ARCHIVE: Ingrid Betancourt
- Íngrid Betancourt no descarta volver a la política (El Tiempo)
- Íngrid Betancourt regresaría a Colombia para participar en política (El Pais)