Ingrid Betancourt
Photo: Radio Cedena Nacional Television
PAGE 2
Ingrid's story begins in France, where she attended school, married and started a family. In 1989 she returned to her native Colombia and was elected as a senator. With an anti-corruption stance, she launched her bid for president of the war-torn country in 2002.

For nearly 50 years, Colombia has been waging a war against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, a home-grown rebel group known as the FARC. This organization has terrorized citizens for decades with bombings, murders and thousands of kidnappings.

During her presidential campaign, Ingrid met with FARC leaders and made a demand. "No more kidnappings," she said. "That the FARC promises to stop kidnapping and to free the kidnapped people."

On February 23, 2002, just days after she made that statement, Ingrid headed to the Colombian city of San Vicente for a campaign stop. The town was located in a region controlled by the FARC, and the Colombian military says they cautioned Ingrid against traveling to this dangerous area, even refusing to provide her with armed escorts. Despite the warnings, Ingrid decided to make the trip with her campaign manager, Clara Rojas, another staffer and two journalists.

FROM: Exclusive: The Bravest Mom in the World Set Free: Ingrid Betancourt
Published on September 22, 2010

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