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Former FARC hostage claims Colombia treats her “as a criminal, not a victim”

Thursday, November 11th 2010 - 21:35 UTC
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Even silence comes to an end, says Ingrid Betancourt Even silence comes to an end, says Ingrid Betancourt

Ingrid Betancourt, a former Colombian presidential candidate who was held captive by the FARC guerrilla for six years, accuses Colombia of treating her “worse than a criminal” since she was rescued in 2008, according to reports in the Argentine press.

Two and a half years after her liberation by Colombian special forces during the impressive ‘Operation Jaque (check)’ (July 2008) Ms Betancourt claims that Colombia was carrying out a “moral stoning” against her, that was “totally unexpected” and “deeply hurts me”.

“There’s something uncomfortable in Colombia about my existence. I was treated as a criminal. Worse than a criminal because Pablo Escobar (one of Colombia’s most notorious former drug barons) was never treated as I was”, said Ms Betancourt in an interview with Buenos Aires, La Nacion.

Ms Betancourt who has dual nationality, Colombian-French is currently in Buenos Aires for the launching of her book, “Even silence has an end”, which refers to the ordeal of her six years of captivity in the Colombian jungle as a hostage of the FARC guerrillas.

“I don’t feel like returning to Colombia. Obviously it’s very painful because I love my country and I love Colombians”, said the former hostage who confirmed she would continue living alternatively between Paris and New York.

Ms Betancourt said that when she claimed government compensation for her time as hostage the Colombian media distorted the facts of her request, and the government launched a campaign against her.

“I dropped the claim because it’s a country that has no respect for its victims. Honestly ... they treated me like a criminal” she complained.

Ms Betancourt added that with the death of guerrilla leaders “Mono Jojoy” and “Raul Reyes”, the FARC (that held her hostage six years) has “no political project, no credibility and has been reduced to a group without even the ability to act militarily”.

“They are dismembered, under siege, no chance of recovering”, sentenced Ms Betancourt who preferred not to comment on statements from her former liberated peer hostages, Clara Rojas and three US advisors.

Ms Rojas who was the right hand of presidential hopeful Betancourt when they were kidnapped back in 2002 after going into an area recommended as out of bounds by the Colombian army was referred in no kind-words in the book.

Ms Rojas conceived a child while in captivity, which was taken away from her by the guerrillas and delivered to an orphanage, where Colombian intelligence finally recovered him.

The three US advisors in their own books and press interviews claim Ms Betancourt was rather selfish in her attitude towards other prisoners and was demanding privileged treatment from her captors.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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  • xbarilox

    Well, you clearly were/are not a victim.
    ”Ms Betancourt who has dual nationality, Colombian(only for the money)-French”

    Nov 11th, 2010 - 11:48 pm 0
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