Colombian hostage: 'We are living like the dead'

December 2, 2007 04:50


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A former presidential candidate held by leftist rebels describes in an emotional letter how she has lost her hair, appetite and hope after nearly six years constantly on the move in Colombia's jungles. The letter, along with videos released by government officials Friday, were the first evidence in years that Ingrid Betancourt and other rebel-held hostages including three U.S. military contractors may still be alive. The materials were seized during the arrest in Bogota of three suspected members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. "Here, we are living like the dead," Betancourt writes to her mother. The dual French national was kidnapped in February 2002 while campaigning for the presidency. An outspoken former lawmaker who was once determined to tackle Colombia's rampant corruption, Betancourt sounds resigned and weakened in the 12-page handwritten letter, which is dated Oct. 24. Excerpts were released to The Associated Press in Paris by people close to her family.

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