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Greens Deeply Concerned Over Columbian Kidnapping

New Zealand Green Party Co-leaders Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald today expressed their serious concern at the kidnapping of Columbian Green presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt on Saturday.

Ms Betancourt and her campaign manager Clara Rojas were kidnapped by Marxist guerrillas. Others were kidnapped but later released.

"We have written to the current Columbian president expressing our concern at this kidnapping. We join with the rest of the world community in condemning this act and call on our Government to do everything possible to secure their release," they said.

"We urge the rebel forces to stop using these methods, which do not contribute to end the vicious circle of violence in Colombia, and to free their hostages immediately."

Ms Fitzsimons and Mr Donald said all sides must search for new ways to return to genuine dialogue, and try to end the escalation of the conflict in Columbia.

"Green Parties around the world are committed to non violence. Ingrid Betancourt has long been a tireless campaigner for peaceful resolution as the only solution to the armed conflict that Colombia has suffered.

"We stand in solidarity with her desire to protect the civilian population of Colombia and our thoughts are with the families of these two women in hoping for a rapid and peaceful resolution."


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