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Colombia’s Ingrid Betancourt announces running for president | Election Issues

Ingrid Betancourt, a Colombian politician who was abducted and held for six years by an armed militant group, has reaffirmed his desire to run for president.

The announcement comes almost two decades after the former Congress leader was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2002 while preparing for a high office in Colombia.

Oxygen Green Party leader Betancourt told reporters Tuesday that he was running for re-election. If he wins the election, he will run in the by-elections on May 29.

“Today I have come to complete what I started with many of you in 2002,” the 60-year-old said at a press conference. “I have come to claim the rights of the 51 million Colombians who do not get justice because we live in a system designed to reward criminals.”

Betancourt’s bid for the presidency comes after Colombia was rocked by a series of protests last year demanding that the government take action to curb education, health, poverty, police violence and more.

Civil rights groups and international observers are accusing Colombia security forces a “gross” violation of human rights during a breaking on demonstrations, which began April 2021 on the idea of ​​tax reform. Last month, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said government agencies used “unnecessary or unnecessary power” during the war. demonstrations.

Betancourt’s announcement comes months after some people have been campaigning across the country in preparation for the presidential election later this year.

Gustavo Petro, a former left-wing mayor of Bogota who is leading the election, has faced serious frustrations and corruption as well as economic inequalities that have escalated during the coronavirus epidemic.

Alessandro Rampietti of Al Jazeera, who released a report from the Colombian capital, Bogota, said many in the country were shocked by Betancourt’s decision to run.

“It comes at a critical time in this country, when Colombians are increasingly angry at politics, with increasing violence,” Rampietti said, adding that the electorate remains highly divided.

Ingrid Betancourt left public life after her release, spending a lot of time with family in France. [Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters]

“He described himself as someone who could try to unite this country, unite the people of Colombia in his cause, which he says is similar to [lives] among many Colombians. ”

Betancourt’s story is well-known in South America. He spent six years in criminal camps in the middle of the Amazon rain forest, where fighters sometimes tied him to a pole with metal chains to prevent him from escaping.

His live video coverage, in which he asked officials to investigate the cause of the robbery, and later appealed to the government to resume peace talks with FARC terrorists, was widely reported in Colombia and abroad.

The politician became a symbol of an international campaign calling for peace talks in Colombia and the release of FARC detainees.

His time in captivity ended in 2008 through a military operation in which Colombian soldiers hid as aid workers seized Betancourt and other FARC detainees without firing a single shot.

The FARC confiscated weapons and broke ground 2016 peace agreement which ended the decades-long civil war in Colombia, and has since transformed into a political party.

Betancourt left public life after his release, living with his family for a long time in France. But he returned to politics in Colombia last year as the country prepares for elections in May.

Announcing his election to the presidency, Betancourt said he had fought to resolve the political crisis and to end the long-running economic crisis in Colombia.

“My story is the story of all Colombians,” Betancourt said. “While my friends and I were chained, Colombian families were bound by corruption, violence, and injustice.

“Despite the food shortages, our philosophers and politicians continued to steal and destroy our economy without caring for the children who ate breakfast here in Colombia.”

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