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FARC rebels say Betancourt poised for release

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FARC rebels say Betancourt poised for release
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Friends and relatives of the French-Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt have rallied in Paris amid news that she is about to be released. It follows a statement from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, says it will hand over her and two other detainees.

It is a long and eagerly awaited announcement that has been welcomed by Betancourt’s daughter, Melanie: “I really hope that this gesture from FARC will be an impulsion so that things may proceed more quickly. I hope that the Colombian president Alvaro Uribe won’t be able to ignore this gesture and he can’t act as if the gesture wasn’t made,” she said.

Betancourt, a former presidential candidate, has been held captive since 2002. France has said it is willing to take in members of the Colombian rebel group, FARC, who could be freed as part of a prisoner-hostage exchange.

But Colombian leaders have urged caution given that FARC has made several similar announcements in the past.