Mr. Speaker, last week, during a visit to Quebec, Franco-Colombian Ingrid Betancourt was honoured by Reporters Without Borders and the Université de Montréal. She also received the medal of honour from the National Assembly of Quebec for her commitment to democracy, human rights and freedom of expression.
Elected as a member of Colombia's Parliament in 1994 and its Senate in 1998, this grande dame of politics was running in Colombia's presidential election when she was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia on February 23, 2002. She was released by her captors on July 2, 2008. Ms. Betancourt is an example of perseverance and resistance.
Today, she is careful to point out that a number of her companions are still being held captive in Colombia and that we can help them by continuing the dialogue and denouncing their situation, the same way Quebeckers did for her.
The Bloc Québécois commends this symbol of female courage who continues to stand up for human rights and freedoms.