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Dublin: 7°C Monday 24 January 2022

FARC hostage Ingrid Betancourt releases book on six-year ordeal

But at least one fellow captive is not too happy with the publication.

FORMER FARC HOSTAGE Ingrid Betancourt has released a book recounting her six years in captivity.

Betancourt was kidnapped by Colombian rebels in the south of Colombia as she campaigned for the 2002 presidential elections.

She was released in 2008 when the rebels were tricked into thinking that a humanitarian organisation would fly her and 14 other hostages to another location on their behalf. The group was instead rescued by Colombian troops.

In the book, Even Silence Has an End, Betancourt describes her constant struggle to keep her hopes alive.

“We were handed the heaviest sentence a human being can be given, that of not knowing when it would end,” she told AP.

She attempted to escape, but was recaptured and beaten by the rebels. She said she experienced many fears while in captivity: “Fear of being alone. Fear of fear. Fear of dying.”

Fellow hostages

Some of Betancourt’s former fellow hostages have already released unflattering accounts of their time in captivity with her.

The woman who shared a cage with Betancourt, Clara Rojas, described sections of Betancourt’s book regarding Roja’s pregnancy as “vile”, according to the BBC.

Rojas, who was Betancourt’s campaign manager and was kidnapped at the same time as her, gave birth to a baby boy while in captivity. The child was fathered by one of the rebels, and was initially handed over to a peasant family,  but was reunited with Rojas after she was freed.

Colombia Reports writes that Betancourt claims in her book that Rojas planned the pregnancy while in captivity, saying she was concerned about “her biological clock” and wanted to have more children.

In their book about the experience, three American contractors who were held and rescued alongside Betancourt claimed that she used her political position to gain leverage with the rebels, and had put their lives in danger by claiming they were CIA agents.

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