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Green welcome Colombian hostage release.



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Greens welcome Colombian hostage release

11th Jan 08

The Australian Greens welcomed the release today of Clara Rojas one of two hostages released

by Colombian rebels. Clara was running mate and campaign manager for Greens' ex-presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, with whom she was kidnapped in 2002.

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert called on the Australian government to join international efforts

to secure the release of all hostages and bring peace in the long-running war in Colombia.

"Unfortunately Ingrid and thousands of other hostages are still being held by the rebels."

"The Greens reiterate our call for Ingrid and all the other hostages to be released as part of a

humanitarian exchange," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

Ingrid Betancourt was a highlight speaker at Global Greens 2001 in Canberra and was standing

for Oxigeno Verde, the Colombian Green party when she was taken.

"February 23 2008 will be the sixth anniversary of Ingrid's kidnapping, it is time that concerted

international action was taken to help resolve this untenable situation."

"We urge the international community to increase its efforts to assist in working for peace in

Colombia."

"The Greens will be writing to Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith asking the Australian

Government to be more active than the previous government in pursuing the release of Ingrid

Betancourt and in securing peace in this troubled nation," said Senator Siewert.