The former hostage Ingrid Betancourt, who was held prisoner for six years by Colombian guerillas has made an emotional address to the European Parliament. Three months after she was released from her captors in the jungles of Colombia, she repeatedly thanked MEPs for their unwavering fight to have her freed.
The tears were never far away as she said the European Parliament had become a platform so the world would know of the barbarity she and the other hostages had suffered at the hands of the FARC rebels, and she reminded members that 3,000 people were still suffering. Her emotion was contagious, with several MEPs crying too.
She urged everyone never to stop pushing for the release of those still in captivity. Betancourt, who holds Franco-Colombian nationality, was among eight nominees for this year’s Sakharov Prize, a prestigious award given by the European Parliament for those who defend democracy and human rights.