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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 August 2007, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Fresh plea for Colombian hostage
Melanie and Lorenzo Betancourt speaking to reporters
Ms Betancourt's children want proof that she is still alive
The family of French-Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt have urged France and the US to step up pressure to win her release in Colombia.

Ms Betancourt has now spent 2,000 days as a hostage of the left-wing Farc guerrillas in Colombia.

Events are taking place in more than 20 towns and cities in France and other countries on Thursday to highlight Ms Betancourt's captivity.

In May an escaped hostage said he had seen her alive and well.

But there has been no official confirmation since the Farc - the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - released a video of her in 2003.

Plea for action

She was captured during the presidential election campaign in February 2002 when, against government advice, she tried to reach a remote village used for talks with the Farc.

Ingrid Betancourt (2001 file pic)
Ingrid Betancourt is a friend of former French PM de Villepin

She has French citizenship through her former husband, a French diplomat, and is a friend of the former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin.

Her son Lorenzo, 19, said, "We've had enough of being pushed backwards and forwards between the Colombian government and the Farc.

"So we really want to see action, we really want to see a chance for our mother's release," he said.

Ms Betancourt's first husband, Fabrice Delloye, said, "The only solution is the United States - we think it's imperative that the US, helped by France, gets involved in the [negotiations] process".

Her daughter Melanie said that "without US pressure [Colombian] President Uribe will not be persuaded".

Ms Betancourt is one of some 3,000 hostages held by the Farc.


SEE ALSO
Colombians hold kidnap protests
06 Jul 07 |  Americas
President vows to free Betancourt
19 May 07 |  Americas
Profiles: Colombia's armed groups
29 May 06 |  Americas
Call for Colombia hostage release
23 Feb 06 |  Americas

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