The U.S. condemns the FARC to pay $36m for the kidnapping of Íngrid Betancourt

A United States Court sentenced the FARC to compensate the son of Íngrid Betancourt for the emotional distress caused by the kidnapping.

Íngrid Betancourt
Íngrid Betancourt in 2010 | © Fabio Gismondi

On January 4, the United States Justice condemned the FARC and 13 of its leaders to pay US$36 million to Íngrid Betancourt’s son in compensation for the kidnapping of her mother.

Scarinci Hollenbeck, the law firm representing Lawrence Delloye, the son of Íngrid Betancourt, published a statement about the decision on January 13.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia held Íngrid Betancourt hostage for 6 years. She was kidnapped in 2002 while she was campaigning as a candidate for Colombia’s presidential election. Her son was 13 at the time.

The lawsuit was filed in 2018 by Lawrence Delloye.

It alleged FARC and several leaders of the organization violated the Antiterrorism Act (ATA) when they kidnapped and tortured Íngrid Betancourt, causing Delloye to suffer significant emotional distress. The Chief U.S. District Court, for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, concluded Íngrid Betancourt’s son successfully stated a claim under the ATA.

Three American citizens who were held captive with Íngrid Betancourt filed a similar lawsuit.

Compensatory damages entitled to Delloye amount to $12 million, the rest covering attorneys’ fees and costs of the trial. It remains unclear how the FARC would pay for it.

In 2002, a judge in Florida ordered FARC to pay $318 million in compensation but the order was never executed since the organization didn’t have any assets in the United States, according to El Tiempo. But since a 2018 amendment to the Antiterrorism Act, frozen assets coming from individuals associated with terrorist groups might be used to compensate victims of terrorists.

Last November, the U.S. officially removed the FARC as a terrorist organization.

Read more about Colombia

Scarinci Hollenbeck secures $36 million judgement for son of former FARC hostage, Scarinci Hollenbeck, January 2022, Free access

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