Latin America & Caribbean

Colombia's Ingrid Betancourt marks 2008 Farc escape

Ingrid Betancourt at a lunch gathering in Paris, file mage from 8 March 2010 Image copyright AFP

French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt has marked five years since her release by Farc militants by appealing for peace in Colombia.

Ms Betancourt, who was held for more than six years in the jungle, said she thinks about her ordeal every day.

"It is not a secret that wars are good business for many," she told BBC Mundo.

"This is what we are facing today in Colombia, but we need to convince each other that the best business for the country is peace."

Ms Betancourt was one of 15 hostages freed by Colombian soldiers on 2 July 2008.

Soldiers tricked the rebels into handing over the hostages by masquerading as members of a humanitarian group that had volunteered to fly them by helicopter to a new location

She had been a presidential candidate at the time of her kidnapping in early 2002.

For years, she was the left-wing rebel group's most high-profile captive.

"I think every day about what I went through," she said.

"There are times when I feel grateful of having had such and experience, but there are other times when it is a burden.

"The death of my father, whilst I was in captivity, still hurts a lot. Also not having been able to see my children grow up."

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