France to Admit Colombian Rebels in Hostage Deal

Government would shelter freed rebels in exchange including French woman
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2007 12:38 PM CST
Demonstrators wear T-shirt with the photograph of former Colombian presidential candidate, Ingrid Betancourt, kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, during a protest demanding...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – France's PM said today the country will take in freed Colombian rebels as part of an exchange for the 46 hostages the rebel group FARC is holding, including a former presidential candidate who holds dual French-Colombian citizenship. The offer came hours after FARC agreed to release three hostages—a former congresswoman, an aide to the presidential candidate, and the latter's infant son.

FARC said it would hand over the three captives to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who was working to negotiate a larger prisoner exchange until the Colombian government “fired” him for favoring the rebels. FARC will release the three to show their support for Chavez. A Colombian journalist reported last year that the infant was the result of a relationship with one of the mother's captors.