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Libertad
13-AUG-2009 kombizz

Libertad

Brussels

In my short trip to Brussels, I saw this huge political banner hanging in front of a ruined buidling. I couldn't read much except the word, 'Liberated'. Later on, I searched about Ingrid Betancourt and found a lots of links to read.

Betancourt was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on 23 February 2002 and was rescued by Colombian security forces six and a half years later on 2 July 2008. The rescue operation, dubbed Operation Jaque, rescued Betancourt along with 14 other hostages (three Americans and 11 Colombian policemen and soldiers). In all, she was held captive for 2,321 days after being taken while campaigning for the Colombian presidency as a Green. She had decided to campaign in rebel controlled areas despite warnings from the government, police and military not to do so. Her kidnapping received worldwide coverage, particularly in France, because of her dual French citizenship.

She has received multiple international awards, such as the Légion d'honneur. In 2008 she received the Concord Prince of Asturias Award. Nonetheless, recent books by fellow hostages Clara Rojas and Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell, and Thomas Howes paint a picture of a more complex and less heroic person, who sought and obtained privileges because of her privileged status as a well-known political hostage.

Ingrid Betancourt

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