Colombia: Ingrid Betancourt on kidnapping and freedom
Time, Dan Fastenbergt
Nearly a half-century long, the civil war in Colombia has seen its fair share of dramatic moments. But few stand out like Operation Checkmate. On July 2, 2008, Colombian soldiers disguised as members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group flew off with a rebel helicopter that had 15 hostages inside. Among those rescued was a former presidential candidate, Ingrid Betancourt. As she became the public face for all FARC hostages, Betancourt endured torture, humiliation and even friction with her fellow hostages. She has just written a book about the experience, entitled Even Silence Has an End. Betancourt sat down with TIME to discuss her captivity, and life after the release.
How did this experience change you?
Was it possible to maintain a sense of normalcy?
How did you cope with the captivity?
How were your politics changed by this experience?
Your rescue was like a movie. What do you remember of it?
And yet, you have since sought compensation for the initial kidnapping. Can you clarify what has happened?
Did you understand, though, when some people in Colombia reacted negatively to this?
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