French Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt is in a Colombian military base tonight after a dramatic rescue by Colombian troops.
Her teenage son, Lorenzo, who has campaigned for years, along with his sister Melanie, and his father, to see his mother freed, says he is feeling “an indescribable joy”.
The only glimpse he has had of his mother in the past six years has been via occasionally-released videos which showed Betancourt looking gaunt and ill.
It was revealed that she was seriously ill, suffering from hepatitis. There were fears she wouldn’t survive many more months of captivity.
Other families of FARC hostages will also be celebrating tonight after Colombia confirmed it had rescued a total of 15 hostages, including
three American contractors and 11 Colombian soldiers.
FARC is said to be holding hundreds more in jungle camps.
Ironically Betancourt’s family were always worried about the possibility of a military raid, fearing she might be killed if anyone tried to rescue her.
French Colombian Ingrid Betancourt, was a presidential candidate in Colombia when she was taken. Tonight the Pope has congratulated Colombia for the rescue.
Colombia says the rebels surrendered without a fight, with no loss of life, as they were surrounded by soldiers.
President Sarkozy, who led the effort to free this high profile hostage, is said to be delighted.
A few months ago, the woman who was kidnapped with Betancourt in 2002, Clara Rojas, was released in a gesture of goodwill by FARC.
She was reunited with her son Emmanuel, born in captivity, who was taken from her when he was just a few months old and later found in foster care in Colombia.
Now Rojas is waiting for another reunion, with the women she refused to leave when they were surrounded by FARC rebels.