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What will Ingrid Betancourt's South America tour accomplish?

The former Colombian hostage visited eight nations this past week pushing for leaders to support efforts to free hostages still held by leftist rebels.

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Crisscrossing the continent on a tour of eight South American nations, Colombia's most famous former hostage, Ingrid Betancourt, hoped to renew regional interest in the remaining captives held by leftist rebels.

"A consensus of all the countries of South America will open the paths for the release of hostages and that may open a hope for peace in Colombia," the former presidential candidate said in Caracas Tuesday after meeting with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez on the last leg of the trip.

On the tour, which started with a surprise trip to Colombia Nov. 29 and a meeting with President Álvaro Uribe, Ms. Betancourt also met with the leaders of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru. All offered their support for Betancourt's campaign to seek hostage talks.


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