News24

Betancourt to demand millions

2010-07-09 22:11

Bogota - Former Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt will demand more than $6m in compensation from Bogota for financial and psychological damages endured in her six years of captivity by leftist rebels, officials and media said on Friday.

The former Franco-Colombian hostage of the Farc, who was released two years ago, intends to seek 12.5 billion pesos ($6.6m), according to media reports.

She returned to her native country last week for several hours to participate in a ceremony celebrating the two-year anniversary of the Colombian military's successful "Operation Jaque" that freed her and 14 other hostages of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Betancourt, who was abducted in the midst of her presidential campaign in February 2002 and ultimately became a global symbol of the guerillas' hostages, said at the time that she still suffered from the ordeal.

"I always have the impression that I am fine, calm and happy, and suddenly I mention something, and the sadness, tears and angst come back," she told AFP.

"I am not yet in control of my emotions to the degree I would like."

She intends to recount the experience in a memoir due to be published in September.