One of the more spellbinding moments of the Global Greens Congress was the Friday morning special plenary session dedicated to former Colombian Green Presidential Candidate Ingrid Betancourt, who has been held captive since February 23rd, 2001 when she was kidnapped in the Colom bian jungle by the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). 

Betancourt was a plenary speaker at the First Global Greens Congress in 2001 and a tape of her speech was replayed to this year’s Congress attendees. Then came an extensive and often emotional panel discussion, featuring former Colombian Senator Luis Eladio Perez, who was held hostage along with Betancourt for four years; Adair Lamprea (former Colombian Environment and Health Secretary who was driving the car when Ingrid was kidnapped); Penna of Brazil and Betancourt’s husband Juan Carlos Lecompte, who also contributed powerfully to a well-attended press conference held Friday afternoon and attended by representatives of over 40 media organizations, including Brazil’s biggest television station Globo, and international agencies like Reuters and AFP. 

  On Sunday morning, the Congress passed a resolution denouncing the use of hostages, calling for an end to armed conflict, the release of Betancourt and all hostages in Colombia through non-violent means and a negotiated political settlement, and declaring Betancourt “President of Honor of the Global Greens and of the Coordination of the Global Green parties.”

US Greens elated, relieved at news of Colombian Green Party leader Ingrid Betancourt’s rescue

A video of Ingrid Betancourt addressing the Global Greens in 2001 can be viewed here.