France has plane on standby for Betancourt

March 31, 2008 at 12:49 AM

PARIS, March 31 (UPI) -- France sent a plane to French Guyana to remain on standby in case Colombian rebels release a high-profile Colombian-French citizen, said French officials.

A representative of French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the plane was sent to South America in case the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, released Ingrid Betancourt, a duel French-Colombian citizen, the BBC reported Sunday.

Colombia offered last week to release members of the FARC in exchange for Betancourt, a one-time Colombian presidential candidate.

Betancourt was captured by FARC rebels in 2002 during the presidential campaign. Local media reports said her health appears to be failing.

FARC has been battling Colombian forces for more than 40 years.

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