Colombian Green presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt has been rescued by security forces after more than six years' captivity as a hostage of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Green Party Principal Speaker Caroline Lucas MEP has expressed the party's joy at the liberation of our colleague.
Dr Lucas said:
"We are all relieved and delighted at the news that Ingrid Betancourt, and the 14 other hostages, are safe at last and on their way home.
"Ingrid has endured an unimaginable six-year ordeal in FARC captivity, and years of death threats before that. A French national, she could have chosen an easy life in Europe or elsewhere but put herself in the line of fire to fight for democracy and peace in Colombia.
"Her personal bravery, moral courage and total commitment to the people of her country set her amongst the most inspirational women of our generation. Her safe return is a cause for celebration not just for Greens, but for all democrats."
Ingrid Betancourt was kidnapped on February 23rd 2002, while campaigning in the Colombian presidential election. The founder of the Oxygen Green Party, she served as a member of the country's Chamber of Representatives and as a Senator before launching her presidential bid.