Thousands have gathered near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, to protest against kidnappings in Colombia. The rally is one of a number of similar events around the world. Recently released hostage, Ingrid Betancourt, called on her captors, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, to free all those still in captivity.
“100,000 artists and thousands of Colombians are linked with us by love,” Ingrid Betancourt said. “Their hearts beat with the same rhythm as ours, with just one dream, just one dream – freedom for all.”
Colombians too took to the streets in protest, calling on FARC and other outlaw groups to lay down their guns. The marches coincided with Independence Day in the country. It is estimated around 24,000 people have been taken hostage in Colombia over the past 12 years – close to 3,000 of those are still in captivity.
The protestors hope the world wide publicity will put more pressure on FARC, which has recently suffered setbacks as a result of a U.S.-backed military offensive.