Ingrid Betancourt was born on 25 December 1961. She is a Colombian-French politician, former senator (from 1998 to 2002) and anti-corruption activist. Mrs. Betancourt was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on 23 February 2002 while running for President of Colombia and was rescued by Colombian security forces six and a half years later on 2 July 2008.

Mrs. Betancourt holds dual French and Colombian citizenship and spent her formative years in Paris. She returned to Colombia in 1989 and ran for Congress five years later, winning a seat in the lower house. She later formed her own political party — the Green Oxygen Party — and was elected to the Senate by an overwhelming majority in 1998.

After her liberation Mrs Betancourt flew to France, where Pres. Sarkozy hailed her as “a symbol of hope” and named her a knight of the Legion of Honour. She authored many books, including Even silcence has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle