Former hostage and Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt.
Colombia, This Week in Latin America

Ingrid Betancourt’s Request For Millions In Damages Sparks Controversy In Colombia

July 12, 2010 By Staff
Former hostage and Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt.

Former hostage and Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Former hostage to Colombian rebels Ingrid Betancourt has asked for compensation from the Colombian government, alleging that her kidnapping resulted from state negligence, Agence France-Presse reports.

Betancourt, a former Colombian politician and dual citizen of France, was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in February 2002 and held hostage until she was freed in 2008 during a military rescue operation.

On Friday, the Colombian government announced that she had initiated legal action to obtain roughly $7 million in damages for her and her family, alleging that her kidnapping had resulted from negligence on the part of the state. (News reports differ on the precise amount of damages sought.)

“The state gravely failed in its duty in allowing a presidential candidate to travel in this part of the country without proper protection,” the court documents say, according to Time Magazine.

In Colombia, which has remained in a state of war with several leftist insurgencies over the last half-century, the government is often charged with protecting politicians who face threats. Betancourt was kidnapped when she traveled into FARC-controlled territory to campaign for president, despite government warnings.

Betancourt’s demand touched off a bitter controversy, with Vice President Francisco Santos saying she wins the “world prize for ungratefulness,” according to Agence France-Presse. Others, including Marc Gonsalves, an American who was held hostage along with Betancourt, defended her claim.

Betancourt’s lawyer Gabriel Devis later issued a statement emphasizing that no one had been sued yet and that Betancourt was “deeply grateful” for her release, according to AFP.

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[…] of dollars for damages to her and her family. The demand quickly caused an outrage in Colombia and caused her to defend herself in a television interview from New York […]

andres felipe agud mosquera says:

So to my history of ingri betancourt pue she him quierte to extract the silver to the government since it is not like that because besides his liberation quite him salio well and in addition she n has to claim anything so before owes agradeser that his liberation was the whole success

sergio anres pastrana yustes says:

for my Ingri Betancourt did not have to charge the government they helped to rescue her before and nothing happened to it was a great mission

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