The rescue by the Colombian army of Ingrid Betancourt and three American contractors held hostage for years by the FARC guerrillas constitutes a crippling blow to the rebel group. Due to her high profile as a former presidential candidate, the release of Betancourt had become a powerful bargaining tool for the FARC. Now their standing is severally damaged. However, the guerrilla group still holds hostage approximately 700 people in the jungles of Colombia. This rescue, along with other serious setbacks that the FARC have suffered in recent months, including Hugo Chávez’s call to put down their arms, should further isolate the FARC and increase the pressure within the group to put an end to the armed conflict.
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