Chavez best hope for Colombia's Betancourt

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 2 May 2008

Reuters has reported on comments made by the husband of Ingrid Betancourt, a politician being held by the FARC guerrilla group in Colombia, in which he claims that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is the best hope for successfully negotiating her release.

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In a seperate development a motorcade carrying activists from over 100 organisations favouring a humanitarian exchange will shortly travel to the town where the FARC recently released six of those that they were holding.

The organisations, which make up the Permanent Assembly of Civil Society for Peace, will leave on May 25th to the town of El Retorno where the most recent releases occured. The Permanent Assembly along with family members of those held, support a proposal for the FARC and the Colombian Government to carry out a prisoner exchange which would see the politicians and military officers held by the guerrillas freed in return for rebels imprisoned by the Colombian regime.

Diplomatic efforts by Venezuela and France led to the FARC unilaterally releasing six of their detainees during January and February. Among those free were five former members of the Colombian Congress and former Vice-Presidential candidate Clara Rojas. Ingrid Betancourt is highest profile politician still being held although three US intelligence agents are also being held.

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