Time is running out: Íngrid Betancourt is hours away from deciding whether or not to leave the Centro Esperanza coalition

Ingrid Betancourt, who was held hostage for six years by rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), reacts during a press conference to announce that she would run for the presidency of her country, in Bogota, Colombia, on 18 March. January 2022. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

The candidate of the Centro Esperanza coalition Íngrid Betancourt continues to controvert the Colombian political sphere and it is expected that around 12:00 this Saturday, January 29, he will make a decision on whether or not to leave the team with which the Presidency is disputed. This was ratified with the third ultimatum he made on Friday night.

In her statement, the former kidnapped by the FARC, who returned to Colombia at the end of 2021 to meddle in politics, warned her colleagues that if the former Minister of Health, Alejandro Gaviria, does not reject the support of Cambio Radical, and other sectors that for Betancourt they are “machinery”, she will not only not participate in the presidential contest with them, instead, he will withdraw his political party from Centro Esperanza.

“I decided to give the Hope Center Coalition until tomorrow -today Saturday- until 12:00 noon to decide if we remain firm against the corruption that the machinery brings. But I am not happy that it is taking them so long because it is a matter of principle and it should be a simple decision that could be made in 20 seconds, “he said in statements to the media.

In addition, she reiterated the anti-corruption discourse with which she has campaigned in the less than 15 days since she announced her candidacy for the community with which she tried to become the first female president of Colombia before her kidnapping by the FARC in 2002.

“I am free to say this because I have been away from politics for so long, that I do not owe anyone anything, I am free from the chains of the corrupt system that kidnapped Colombia. Whenever I talk about eliminating corruption, they always ask me: How? How to end corruption? Well, that’s how. Making difficult decisions but guided by our principles and not by interests”, added Ingrid Betancourt.

And it is that the discomfort between the political leader and the former Minister of Health in the previous government was due to the scuffle they staged during a presidential debate in which Betancourt confronted Alejandro Gaviria for receiving a sector of the party led by former Vice President Germán Vargas You read.

“Alejandro, you and I made an agreement that we signed in the conclave in which we were not going to bring any machinery to the coalition. You have accepted the support of people who worry me very much”, said the pre-candidate referring to the support that Gaviria received from a sector of the Cambio Radical party.

The discussion became so heated that the former rector of the Universidad de Los Andes stood up in front of her, called her a “hypocrite” and days later he implied that the ex-kidnapped woman was an opportunist; which led Betancourt to make further warnings to his coalition ahead of this year’s presidential elections in Colombia.

“Ingrid hers is hypocrisy and opportunism. He should, as Gabriel García Márquez said, look at himself in the mirror of his own faults. Why not examine the list of the Green Alliance, there is no machine there, in your party? the politician questioned her while she said that she was not from that party.

Let us remember that, if Betancourt does not leave Centro Esperanza, he will face a referendum in March to choose the presidential candidate of that coalition, which will be held on March 13 along with the legislative elections.

Betancourt will face other heavyweight politicians; Among them are former presidential candidate Sergio Fajardo, former minister Juan Fernando Cristo. also former minister Alejandro Gaviria, senator Jorge Robledo, and former senator Juan Manuel Galán.


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