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French Foreign Minister Plans Trip to Colombia to Win Freedom for Kidnapped Politician


French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy has announced he will soon head to Colombia to try to win freedom for kidnapped former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt.

Colombian Marxist rebels kidnapped her in February 2002 while she campaigned. Her father, the late Gabriel Betancourt, was a Colombian ambassador to France.

Mr. Douste-Blazy told French television Tuesday that in the name of human rights, it is unthinkable to leave her in such conditions.

Colombia's main rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, has already rejected a joint French-Spanish-Swiss proposed prisoner exchange with the Colombian government to win freedom for Ms. Betancourt and other hostages.

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