Betancourt family relieved by pictures of hostage

30th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

30 November 2007, PARIS - The family of the Colombian-French politician Ingrid Betancourt reacted with relief Friday to news that she is shown alive in videos seized from leftist guerrillas in Colombia.

30 November 2007

PARIS - The family of the Colombian-French politician Ingrid Betancourt reacted with relief Friday to news that she is shown alive in videos seized from leftist guerrillas in Colombia.

"We are extremely moved, very very moved to see these images of my sister," Astrid Betancourt said on LCI television.

"So far we have only seen a single photograph. She is sitting at a little table. She seems quite thin with very long hair. She's looking down, sad. It looks like her hand is chained.

"It is a sad image of my sister, but she is alive," she said.

Betancourt's son Lorenzo said he was happy at the news.

"I am waiting to see the video, because I have been told she does not seem to be in great health. I know she sent a letter to my grandmother which came with the video. I am waiting to see what it says," he said.

The support committee campaigning in France for Betancourt's release said it was relieved but concerned.

"It is clear that Ingrid does not seem to be in top form, and that gives us some anxiety. Freeing Ingrid is a matter of urgency," it said in a statement.

President Nicoals Sarkozy, who has taken a close interest in the case, was "happy above all for the family," his spokesman said.

Betancourt has a French passport by virtue of a marriage, now dissolved, with a French diplomat. She was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in February 2002.

The Colombian government on Friday released five videos which it said had been seized during a military operation againbst FARC. They show 16 hostages including Betancourt and three Americans.

It was the first firm evidence since 2003 that Betancourt and the three Americans are still alive.

AFP

Subject: French news

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