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Ex-FARC ordered to pay 36 million dollars for the kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt

The American justice condemned the former Colombian rebellion of the FARC to pay 36 million dollars (about 31.5 million euros) in compensation for the kidnapping of the Franco-Colombian Ingrid Betancourt between 2002 and 2008, according to the decision of a federal court in Pennsylvania on January 4, made public Thursday evening, January 14.

Lawrence Delloye – also called Lorenzo, son of Mme Betancourt, born in 1988 from her union with the Frenchman Fabrice Delloye – “is entitled to compensation of 12 million dollars before it is tripled with the fees and costs of lawyers”. In a separate press release, the American counsel for Mr. Delloye, of the firm Scarinci Hollenbeck, explained that the total amount of damages decided by the federal judge of Pennsylvania Matthew Brann thus amounted to “more than 36 million dollars”.

The son of Ingrid Betancourt, who has American nationality, had been able to file a civil complaint in the United States in June 2018, against fourteen former leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), under a federal anti-terrorism law (Antiterrorism Act, ATA), accusing the rebellion of « breach » of this extraterritorial legislation. In addition, the abduction of his mother provoked in Mr. Delloye – a young teenager in 2002 – a “huge emotional anguish” for years, noted the court.

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“Emotional angst”

Mme Betancourt, 60 years old today, was kidnapped on February 23, 2002 during the Colombian presidential election campaign by the FARC, before being rescued by the army six years later, on July 2, 2008.

Ingrid Betancourt then moved to France with her two children, Mélanie and Lorenzo, but « However, it was not easy for [Lorenzo] Delloye to reconnect with his mother. He continues to suffer from emotional anguish., underlined the American judge in his decision. The former senator from Colombia had claimed for years compensation covering the psychological damage caused by her long captivity.

A historic peace agreement in 2016 between Colombia and the FARC transformed the guerrillas into a legal political party and considerably reduced violence, although many armed groups continue to operate in the country, including dissidents from the FARC who have taken up arms. And, last November, the US State Department removed the FARC from its blacklist of foreign terrorist organizations, but without changing its position on the legal proceedings against former leaders of the former Colombian guerrillas.

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