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Old 01-25-2002, 02:01 PM
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Rise Up Columbia

Candidate Gives Viagra, Calls for Nation to Rise
January 25, 2002 9:23 am EST

BOGOTA, Colombia (Reuters) - Promising to invigorate Colombians in the struggle against war and corruption, a presidential candidate startled drivers by handing out samples of impotence drug Viagra.
"We want our votes to dose Colombia with Viagra, to lift and to firm up the country, make peace swell, by standing up to the corrupt and stiffening our people," presidential hopeful Ingrid Betancourt told Reuters at traffic lights Thursday in downtown Bogota.
The 40-year-old Betancourt recently stood down as a national senator to run for president for her New Colombia Party, promising a crackdown on corruption and more success in so-far tortuous peace talks with leftist guerrillas. As a parliamentarian in the late 1990s, she was a leading critic of graft in the administration of former President Ernesto Samper.
Followed by nervous police bodyguards and assistants dangling plastic bags of tablets, the slightly built Betancourt -- wearing a blue, Viagra-colored T-shirt -- darted from car to car as they stopped at red lights.
"Colombia must rise up!" exclaimed a scruffily dressed man with curly gray hair after Betancourt gave him a pill.

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