Hostage Betancourt refusing food, medicine

1st April 2008, Comments 0 comments

French-Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt, who is believed to be gravely ill, is refusing food or medicine offered by the rebels holding her captive.

   BOGOTA, March 31, 2008 - French-Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt, who is believed to be gravely ill, is refusing food or medicine offered by the
rebels holding her captive, local radio said Monday, citing a military
intelligence report.
   The report cited by Caracol Radio also said the former green party
presidential candidate, who was kidnapped in 2002, urgently needs a blood
transfusion.
   Betancourt, 46, "is alive but refuses to consume the drugs and food being
offered" by the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the
report said.
   Concern about her health grew in recent days after reports that the FARC
took her to medical facilities in Guaviare villages in late February,
prompting France to put a plane and a medical on standby in case she is freed.
   The most prominent of hundreds of hostages held by the FARC is said to be
suffering from hepatitis B and leishmania, a skin disease caused by insect
bites. She appeared gaunt and frail in a video released in November.
   Betancourt is among 39 high-profile hostages, including three US defense
contractors, whom the FARC want to swap for 500 rebels held in prison. But the
government and guerrillas have yet to agree on conditions for an exchange.

AFP

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