Ingrid Betancourt initially announced that she wanted to fight for the presidency in Colombia as part of an alliance. Now she wants to do it alone with her green party.
Bogotá – 20 years after her kidnapping, Ingrid Betancourt, the longtime hostage of the left-wing guerrilla organization FARC, wants to run as an independent candidate for the presidency in Colombia.
“We have decided to leave the coalition and embark on our independent path to the presidency of the Republic,” Betancourt tweeted on Saturday (local time). “I will be a candidate for the ‘Verde Oxígeno’ (Green Oxygen) party.” Betancourt himself founded Colombia’s first green party in 1998.
Only about ten days ago she announced that she wanted to run again for the presidency in Colombia in the elections in May and to take part in the interparty preliminary round of the alliance Centro Esperanza.
The then Green Party presidential candidate was kidnapped by FARC in 2002 and had been held by the guerrilla organization for six years before the army freed her. During the decades of armed conflict between the government, guerrillas and paramilitaries in the South American country, the FARC rebels abducted thousands of people in order to use the ransom to finance their armed struggle against the state. According to the Colombian Attorney General’s Office, more than 500 people died while the rebels were being held hostage.
The FARC and the Colombian government settled the civil war with around 220,000 dead and millions displaced in 2016 with a peace agreement. dpa
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