Slamdance Film Chronicles Plight of Kidnapped Colombian Senator

Slamdance Film Chronicles Plight of Kidnapped Colombian Senator

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News Specialist John Daley reportingA documentary debuting this week in Utah at the Slamdance Film Festival is gaining international attention.

The film is called "Missing Peace." It documents the tragic story of an extraordinary woman who was running for president of one South American country when she was kidnapped by rebels.

When it comes to kidnapping, Colombia leads the world with roughly 3,000 people abducted each year.

The film "Missing Peace" is the true story of Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt.

She was kidnapped by Colombian guerrillas. Now her husband is trying to free her, and to turn international attention to his country's plight.

In Park City today, a few dozen U.S. citizens exercise their right to free speech at an anti-war protest.

Just up the block, this man is trying to spread the word about life in his country -- Colombia.

Exactly 11 months ago today, his wife Ingrid, a member of the Colombian Senate, was kidnapped in the middle of her campaign for president.

"You live here like in the paradise. You can do that kind of stuff and nothing happens to you. There it's dangerous to do things like that. I don't know (from) what direction the guerilla, the politicians, the government are going to attack you," says Betancourt's husband Juan Carlos Lecompte.

Starting with her congressional race in 1994, Betancourt risked her life by denouncing Colombian politicians who have been linked to drug cartels.

Then last February, she was abducted, and hasn't been seen since.

A pair of U.S. filmmakers, working on a documentary about Betancourt at the time, found the focus of their film had dramatically changed to the difficult search and wait for her.

"I think it's important for the U.S. to pay attention to Colombia. We spent $1.2 billion a year there and it's going into a sinkhole. We are not approaching the situation in the right way," says the film's maker, Victoria Bruce.

Betancourt's husband is calling for U.S. help.

"They can say to the Colombian government, 'you need to resolve this as soon as you can,'" Lecompte says.

The film is showing again tomorrow at the Slamdance Festival tomorrow at 1 p.m. at the top of Main Street.

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