Colombian presidential candidate kidnapped


A presidential candidate and her aide have been kidnapped by FARC rebels in Colombia.

Former Senator Ms Ingrid Betancourt and campaign manager Ms Clara Rojas have been taken by the FARC, a spokeswoman said.

Ms Ingrid Betancourt hands out Viagra during a Bogota election drive
Photo: Reuters

Ms Betancourt, 40, had left Florencia yesterday afternoon by car for the former rebel town of San Vicente del Caguan, which had been captured by army troops earlier in the day.

Ms Betancourt is running for her 'New Colombia' Party promising a crackdown on corruption and more success in peace talks with the guerrillas.

Colombia's government said it had warned Ms Betancourt not to make the trip because it was too dangerous.

Interior Minister Armando Estrada said the government is searching for Ms Betancourt and doing what it can to establish security in the war zone.

"It is good that politicians are doing what they can to draw support for their campaigns and their causes ... but it was not necessary to make that trip in those conditions," he said, asking other candidates to refrain from visiting the area for the moment.