Betancourt's voice calls upon Colombian rebels to demobilize
Colombian authorities started Tuesday to
broadcast in the country's jungles the voice of rescued hostage Ingrid
Betancourt, inviting leftist rebels to demobilize and recover their freedom.
Former presidential candidate Betancourt - a hostage of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) from February 2002 until last Wednesday - recorded several messages before travelling to Europe.
The messages are set to be broadcast through speakers on military helicopters.
"Rebels, I am Ingrid Betancourt. Make the decision to demobilize now, I am waiting for you. We guarantee that you are going to be better off. You are going to recover your family, you are going to recover your honour, you are going to recover your freedom," Betancourt said.
The messages are also set to be broadcast on Colombian radio and television.
Recently, Colombian Foreign Minister Fernando Araujo - himself a former hostage of FARC for six years - spoke to the rebels from a helicopter, calling upon them to demobilize.
The Colombian government said 1,680 rebels demobilized individually in the first six months of 2008.
"Since August 7, 2002 (when Colombian President Alvaro Uribe was inaugurated) until June 2008, 16,136 members of illegal armed groups have demobilized individually," the government said, according to dpa.