| GEO World|
| Marches around world for Colombian hostages|
| Updated at: 0416 PST, Wednesday, July 09, 2008|
BOGOTA: Marches will be held in Colombia and in 21 cities in other countries around the world on July 20 to press FARC guerrillas to release the hundreds of hostages they are holding, the Bogota-based group organizing the demonstrations said Tuesday.
The marches follow the liberation last week of Ingrid Betancourt and 15 other hostages who were rescued in a Colombian military operation.
The Pais Libre (Free Country) Foundation organizing them hope more groups will join the initiative, to make it bigger than similar demonstrations that took place in February and March that involved 125 cities.
"These marches are a signal from society to demand that the practice of holding hostages be eliminated in Colombia," the head of Pais Libre, Olga Gomez, said.
Gatherings are already confirmed for many Latin American cities, and in Madrid, Washington, New York and Paris, she said. Betancourt may participate in the march in the French capital.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) are believed to be holding more than 700 hostages, according to Colombian government figures.