)| Photo: EFE/Carlos Ortega
A United States court has sentenced the former guerrilla of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and several of its leaders to pay US$ 14 millions for the more than six-year kidnapping of Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, according to the prosecution’s lawyers.
The sentence, handed down on the 4th by Judge Matthew Bran, of the federal court of Pennsylvania and made public this Thursday (12) in a statement from the defense, indicates that the FARC must pay US$ 12 millions in damages to Betancourt’s son Lawrence Delloye, who filed the lawsuit in June 2018 and who was a teenager when her mother was kidnapped.
To these US$ 13 million plus attorneys’ fees, bringing the total to more than US$ 36 million, said the law firm Scarinci Hollenbeck, responsible for the prosecution.
Delloye argued in his complaint that the FARC and its leaders violated the Anti-Terrorism Law and that his mother’s kidnapping caused him significant emotional stress.
“Although no amount of money can replace the time that Lawrence Delloye wasted without his mother or healing the trauma suffered at the hands of the FARC, we are proud to have been able to achieve some form of justice,” said attorney Robert Levy.
13195348The case was brought to the US Courts because Delloye is an American citizen, born in San Bernardino, California, on 2002.
“The FARC and its members caused the plaintiff to suffer damages associated with separation from her mother, and suffering emotional stress from not knowing if her mother was alive or dead, or if she would ever be reunited with her”, alleged Delloye’s defense in the lawsuit.
13195348In his sentence, the judge notes that of the 14 accused FARC leaders, only one, Juan José Martínez Vega, responded to the accusations, while the others did not appear in court in recent three and a half years.
Ingrid Betancourt, today with 61 years old, was kidnapped in February
during a visit as part of his presidential campaign to a FARC-controlled area of southern Colombia.
13195348In July of 2008, she was rescued , along with other 12 hostages of the FARC, by Colombian soldiers who pretended to be workers of a human organization international company.