Betancourt to bring FARC deserter to France

Wilson Bueno alias "Isaza", a former FARC guerilla who deserted and freed a hostage, is due to travel to France shortly with ex-hostage Ingrid Betancourt. The man was promised a reward and asylum in France.


AFP - A Colombian leftist guerrilla who deserted along with a hostage he was guarding will travel to France soon with Franco-Colombian ex-hostage Ingrid Betancourt, government sources told AFP Saturday.

The ex-rebel, whose name is Wilson Bueno but is best known by his code-name 'Isaza,' deserted the ranks of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in October along with Congressman Mauricio Lizcano.

"We expect the trip in a few days," presidential spokesman Cesar Velasquez told AFP on Saturday.

Velasquez said that it is the goal of both President Alvaro Uribe and French President Nicolas Sarkozy for Bueno to travel.

Only "minor details" are left to complete for the former guerrilla to travel, diplomatic sources told AFP speaking on condition of anonymity.

The head of Colombia's military, General Freddy Padilla, said in Medellin on Saturday that Bueno will travel to Paris with Betancourt on Monday.

Betancourt earlier said that both Sarkozy and Uribe told her that Bueno would get a reward and asylum in France as promised.

Betancourt, 46, a former presidential candidate, was freed in July after six years held by FARC guerrillas.

The FARC is holding some 28 hostages as political prisoners with the aim of exchanging them for its members held in Colombian and US jails.

The group is also holding an estimated 700 other hostages, most of them ordinary Colombian citizens seized for ransom.

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