Ingrid Betancourt, a French-Colombian politician must be released, France minister of foreign affairs said

Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said Wednesday that France is determined to see the release of Ingrid Betancourt, a French-Colombian politician kidnapped in Colombia in 2002.

On Tuesday, the Paris Support Committee for Ingrid Betancourt submitted a petition with nearly 100,000 signatures to the ministry in support of government efforts to secure her release.

Ingrid Betancourt was a candidate in Colombia's 2002 presidential elections when a guerrilla group kidnapped her on Feb. 23 of that year during a campaign trip in a rebel stronghold in southern Colombia, the AP reports.

The 43-year-old remains a captive of the group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

Last week, Colombia accused France of interfering in its internal affairs by allegedly negotiating with the rebels for the release of Betancourt, who holds dual Colombian-French citizenship. AM

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