Íngrid Betancourt is a Colombian politician, born 25 December 1961. She was elected to Colombia's Chamber of Representatives in 1994, and to the Colombian Senate in 1998. She supported the campaign of Andrés Pastrana for the presidency in 1998, but later said he failed to uphold his promises to her, and she ran for President in 2002.
During Betancourt's campaign for the presidency, she visited the town of San Vicente del Caguán, which was a former demilitarized zone where the FARC guerrilla army operated, to meet with the FARC. Upon entry to the FARC-controlled zone, Betancourt was kidnapped by FARC.
Due to Betancourt's ancestry, she is a French citizen, and the French government became involved in negotiations to release Betancourt. Later, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has funded FARC, attempted to broker a deal to release Betancourt, but was unsuccessful. On 2 July 2008, the Colombian army rescued Betancourt and 14 other hostages from a FARC base in Guaviare.