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Page last updated at 16:30 GMT, Sunday, 6 July 2008 17:30 UK

Betancourt plans play on ordeal

Ingrid Betancourt in Paris
Ms Betancourt wants to write about what she learnt during her captivity

Newly freed Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt has said she is planning to write a play about her experience of being held hostage by Colombian rebels.

She also said she had been given a clean bill of health after undergoing medical tests following her release from the Colombian jungle.

The 46-year-old is in Paris, where she flew after her release on Wednesday.

She spent six years in captivity after being seized by Marxist Farc rebels during an election campaign.

In an interview, French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche asked her whether she would write a book about her experience, to which she replied: "I'll write a play."

"When I was in captivity, I said to myself: 'People need to understand this, but I can't just write it down the way it happened. So I'll write a play. That way I will show people what they need to feel'.

"It will need directing so that people understand these things that relate to the human condition, to what we are within ourselves. We can be angels, but we can also be demons for each other. Those who will see what I experienced will understand that we must be careful never to fall in this abyss."

Taste of freedom

She said she was planning to return to Colombia in a few days.

INGRID BETANCOURT
Ingrid Betancourt after her release 2 July 2008
Born on 25 December 1961
Grows up in Paris
1989: Returns to Colombia
1994: Elected to lower house
1998: Becomes a senator
2002: Kidnapped by Farc rebels

She added that "meanwhile I want to see France, all of France. But I also want to be alone with my children... I want to give this time to my family, to the father of my children whom I adore, who fought an extraordinary fight for me."

On Sunday, she sent a radio message to all hostages still held by the Farc, her sister Astrid Betancourt told the AFP news agency.

Ingrid Betancourt spoke on the night-time radio slot where her own mother had sent her daily messages of support, and said French President Nicolas Sarkozy had "pledged to keep working for [the hostages'] release".

The former Colombian presidential candidate, who has dual French-Colombian nationality, was freed along with 14 other hostages after their captors were apparently tricked into handing them over to army personnel disguised as independent agency staff.

On Friday Ms Betancourt - who grew up, studied and raised her family in France - was flown from Colombia to Paris on a French presidential plane.




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