France Bails on Hostage Rescue Mission

Colombian rebels block medical help for Betancourt
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2008 5:35 AM CDT
People, one holding the latest known photo of Ingrid Betancourt, take part in a march calling for the freedom of Ingrid Betancourt and other hostages held by FARC, Sunday, April 6, 2008 in front of the...   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
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(Newser) – A French humanitarian team is leaving Colombia after being frustrated in its mission to aid failing hostage Ingrid Betancourt, reports the BBC. The leadership of the FARC rebels, who have held the French-Colombian presidential candidate hostage for six years, refused to allow the team to provide Betancourt with emergency medical aid. French President Nicolas Sarkozy had sent the aid workers after reports that Betancourt was seriously ill.

FARC—the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—has been at war with the Colombian government for over four decades. They recently freed Betancourt's running mate, Clara Rojas. France's foreign minister is set to travel to Colombia to try once again to secure Betancourt's release.