Betancourt Wants To Assist Young Colombians Resist The Call From The FARC

Betancourt Wants To Assist Young Colombians Resist The Call From The FARC

By Dialogo
December 16, 2008

AFP Former French-Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt said Monday in Rome that the first project of her foundation will prevent the FARC guerrillas from trying to recruit young Colombians. “I want to get my former colleagues released from captivity in the jungle” but “strangely enough, also I think of my guards, 13 or 14 years old, younger than my children, and they are also prisoners of an ideology and terror,” Ingrid Betancourt said. The former hostage received was given by the president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Gianfranco Fini, the “Pilgrim of Peace” awarded by the International Center for Peace between Peoples of Assisi, a town in central Italy. Betancourt said that the first draft of the foundation that she just created and which bears her name, will be developed in the town of Calamar, which works as a recruitment center of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). “Those who watched me during my captivity came from that town. Finally, I understood that they had no other choice,” said Betancourt who was held hostage by the FARC for six and a half years, between February 2002 and July 2008. In her view, the FARC recruited through “big lies about a better future” for young people who are attracted by having a gun, because it gives them "respect and status," said Betancourt. “This will create a space where people with social workers can accompany the young people in achieving their dreams. The project wants to tell you that they do not need to kill or prostitute themselves, and they can realize their dreams in peace and respect for others.
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