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Colombia Crossed Geneva Convention By Rescuing Hostages?

Colombia violated the Geneva Convention when its military used the Red Cross' symbol to help free 15 hostages from FARC rebels last month, according to the International Red Cross. The first Geneva Convention prohibits using the Red Cross emblem in military operations because it could compromise the perceived neutrality of the group's humanitarian and medical missions.


The Colombia operatives posed as faux-humanitarian workers, and video shows that one soldier wore the Red Cross emblem. Colombia initially misrepresented its use of the emblem, but later apologized, calling the soldier's decision to wear the cross unauthorized.

While officials consider the details of their rescue, the most famous former hostage, Ingrid Betancourt, avoids discussing the details of her six-year captivity. To see what she has said however, read more.

Betancourt says her years of physical and psychological torture and humiliation taught her about the human capacity to be cruel, but she hopes to one day forgive her captors. While the Colombian and French citizen tries to move on from her ordeal in Paris, Ingrid is urging FARC to free the remaining hostages while cautioning against using a vocabulary of hate against her former captors.

Do you think the rescue of Betancourt and the other hostages jeopardized the work and safety of the Red Cross? Was it a risk worth taking?

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