Former hostage sues Colombian government for 6.5 mln dollars in damages
Former hostage Ingrid Betancourt and her family have demanded 6.5 million U.S. dollars from the Colombian government in compensation for the damages she suffered during six years in rebel captivity, local media reported Friday.
Betancourt was kidnapped in February 2002 by guerrillas of the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) during her tour of San Vicente del Caguan, south of the country while campaigning for the presidency, Xinhua reported.
Betancourt presented a request at the Defense Ministry, demanding a payment of 12.5 billion Colombian pesos (6.5 million dollars) for the financial and psychological damages she suffered during her captivity by FARC.
According to Betancourt, the army had promised her that she would not be in danger during her tour of San Vicente del Caguan, when she was kidnapped on Feb 23, 2002.
However, former Peace Commissioner Camilo Gomez said Betancourt and many others were not allowed to go to that place at the time "due to the risks they could face."
At a check point in Vicente del Caguan, Betancourt was advised not to continue due to the clashes with the guerillas, Gomez recalled. "But she wrote a letter saying that she would continue traveling at her own risk."
Betancourt was rescued by Colombia's military on July 2, 2008, together with three U.S. contractors and 11 soldiers and policemen.