Gifts dropped for Colombia hostage

Ingrid Betancourt's husband scatters photographs of children over Amazon jungle.

    Betancourt said in a video and letter dated
    October 2007 that her life is a living hell
    It was an emotional and personal moment for Lecompte, away from the international campaign, backed by world leaders, for his wife's release.
     
    Three weeks ago the Colombian government gave him a recent video and letter from Betancourt dated October 2007, in which she said that her life is a living hell.
     
    When Betancourt was abducted, her daughter Melanie was 16 and her son, Lorenzo, 13.
     
    Aircraft tracked
     
    Lecompte's flight on a small, rented aircraft was dangerous. Small aeroplanes have often been shot down by fighters and the Colombian army sometimes forces unauthorised flights to land.
     
    Lecompte's aircraft was tracked by the Colombian air force. For 15 minutes a fighter jet circled the aircraft, risking the safety of those on board, including an Al Jazeera TV crew.
     
    Al Jazeera contacted the air force but no explanation was given for its actions.
     
    Lecompte had been given rough directions to where Betancourt might be held by Jhon Frank Pinchao, police officer.
     
    Pinchao lived in the same Farc camp as Betancourt and managed to escape after eight years by breaking the chains around his neck at night and fleeing.
     
    Radio message
     
    Pinchao told Al Jazeera: "The only means for a hostage to have contact with the outside world is the radio messages give us the courage to keep on living. We only got to see a newspaper once a year."
     
    Nevertheless, Betancourt's family will keep trying to communicate with her in any way possible, through newspapers and the radio. However, they say it is as frustrating as throwing a bottle into the ocean, because they will never know if the messages ever reach her.
     
    Betancourt, who was born in Bogota but holds French nationality, was kidnapped when campaigning for the Colombian presidency in an area with a high Farc presence.
     
    Farc is holding her in the hope of striking a hostage-for-prisoner exchange with the Colombian government.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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