RealNews

Hostage pleads for rescue in video by Colombia rebels

Ingrid Betancourt, the celebrity hostage of left-wing guerrillas in Colombia, was shown alive and well ­ and as pugnacious as ever ­ in a videotape released by her captors at the weekend. The tape was made three months ago and did not entirely calm the anxieties of Mme Betancourt’s French and Colombian families, who fear she might be unwell, or even dead. The rebels holding Mme Betancourt said yesterday they were prepared to meet a United Nations representative. The meeting ­ should it be confirmed ­ would mark the first dialogue with the 17,000-strong Marxist guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), since peace talks collapsed in February 2002. The Colombian government’s chief peace negotiator, Luis Carlos Restrepo, said: “There hasn’t been anything official from the Brazilian government, nor from us, nor the United Nations. Instead, this [proposal] has been handed informally, as a hypothesis.” Full Story

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