France Withdraws Medical Aid for Ingrid Betancourt

April 10, 2008 06:46 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Sarkozy withdraws emergency medical aid to Colombia's famous hostage, Ingrid Betancourt, leaving her and fellow FARC hostages “to languish in the jungle.”

30-Second Summary

France announced its withdrawal of emergency medical aid to hostage Ingrid Betancourt yesterday.

According to Betancourt’s captors, Colombia rebel group FARC, the medical mission was "not acceptable," having been launched without the group’s permission.

French President Nicholas Sarkozy initiated the mission last week upon hearing that Betancourt was seriously ill. Spain and Switzerland were also involved in the effort.

French airplanes have waited on the tarmac for three days in hopes that FARC would let the doctors on board treat and examine Betancourt, who allegedly suffers from depression and hepatitis B.

After the withdrawal, President Nicholas Sarkozy’s office issued a statement saying that he feels “deeply disappointed.” 

Ingrid Betancourt has been held by FARC since 2002, when she was kidnapped during her bid for the Colombian Presidency. Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has refused to negotiate with the terrorists, who are currently demanding the release of 500 jailed FARC members in exchange for approximately 39 hostages—a group that includes three Americans.

Uribe lost his father at the hands of FARC assassins, and will not acquiesce to the group’s demands. According to the Associated Press, “if neither side gives in, Betancourt and dozens of other hostages likely will languish in jungle camps for a long time to come.”

Headline Link: Mission of mercy called off

Reactions: Hope remains for Betancourt’s release

Related Link: Betancourt’s 2007 letter to her mother

Video: ‘Hostage's Son Appeals For Release’

Key Players: Betancourt, FARC, Colombia’s president

Ingrid Betancourt
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe

Background: Political tension in Colombia and Sarkozy’s hopeful attempt

Sarkozy urges FARC to make history
No response to Sarkozy’s outreach
‘South American Tensions High After Colombian Raid in March’
'FARC Frees Four Hostages’
‘Colombian Rebels Stay on Terror List Despite Chavez’

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