Will Ingrid Betancourt take revenge?

It will not last very long anymore before Íngrid Betancourt, Colombia’s most famous FARC hostage, will publish her book on the years she spent as a FARC prisoner. Since her liberation in July 2008 (Operation Jaque), several people have dared to criticize this woman, who especially in Europe is considered as a heroine. The last one has published his own book these days: Juan Carlos Lecompte, Betancourt’s latest ex-husband. If Betancourt is writing a book that is similar to her Rage in the Heart (2001), she will be merciless with her critics.

In het book Rage in the Heart (La Rage au Coeur) Ingrid Betancourt vehemently criticizes the political spectre in her home country Colombia. Hardly anybody can be trusted, almost everybody is corrupt. About the only clean person is, guess who? Of course. And it has worked. In Europe they believe her inconditionally.

In 2002 Betancourt was kidnapped by the guerrilla and she had to suffer six years before the Colombian liberated her and 14 others. Of course in six years in such terrible cirumstances a lot of things happen, not in the least between the hostages themselves, and that has become clear in several books of other hostages.

The first ones were the American hostages Keith Stansell, Thomas Howes and Marc Gonsalves. They published Out of Captivity, in which they describe the horrors of being a FARC hostage. They also mention Betancourt and her according to them not very nice way of being. They call her egoist and arrogant.

The second one was Clara Rojas with her book Captured who was careful and reluctant in her criticism, but who made it clear that her relationship with Betancourt was damaged during their captivity.

And now there is Juan Carlos Lecompte, who is about to divorce from her and who has written a book, also to be published in France (will not be a coincidence, it will have a bigger impact) and which is called  Ingrid et moi, une vérité douce-amère (Ingrid and I, a bitter-sweet truth).

Lecompte told Colombia’s daily El Tiempo that Betancourt has changed from a warm hearted into a cold and calculating woman. He told the newspaper that Betancourt 15 minutes before landing and meeting with him after her liberation called him to warn him that things had changed. Since then, Lecompte says, she has never wanted to meet in private. When his father died, she didn’t offer him her condolences, but asked a divorce.

Not very nice for this woman who until recently – and one could say still – was adored and considered almost a saint.

After having read her Rage in the Heart and having heard the opinions of others about her, I predict she will not be a saint in her soon to be published book.


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9 Responses to “Will Ingrid Betancourt take revenge?”

  1. bjohns15 Says:

    Of course, maybe she thinks she is the only clean one because she is half french? I just wrote a a post on Plan Colombia, which you may be interested in. http://bryanjohnsonblog.com/2010/02/16/plan-colombia-dont-back-down-obama/

  2. Otelia Kolberg Says:

    For me that sounds interesting, who knows what the future will bring… Lets wait for it…

  3. Glad Cantillo Says:

    So the future is here! You and others saw it coming? …You wrote about it wiesubags! Worth posting on FB Declaremos Persona No Grata a Ingrid B.
    The one thing that’s getting boring on FB is the name calling.

  4. Paula Says:

    Oh, dear. Isn’t the world yet ready to turn the page on Ingrid? What is so fascinating about her? She certainly does know how to keep herself in the spotlight though.  
    Did you hear she recently won the World Prize for Hypocrisy, Opportunism and Ingratitude?

    http://talkingaboutcolombia.com/2010/07/13/ingrid-betancourt-receives-world-prize-for-hypocrisy-opportunism-and-ingratitude/

  5. dissent Says:

    I dunno how accurate this post is–I do know that only 1 of the American contractors was actually hating on INgrid.

    Personally I’m impressed that the right-wing is so determined to smear Ingrid that the best they can come up with is this weak bullshit. That tells me that whatever her character flaws here is a woman of rare integrity, in addition to intellect.

    Ingrid deserves a better life then she would get trying to reform Columbia. The woman wants her serenity but the right-wing wants to smear her anyway. Too bad you aren’t seeing thru it here.

    • wiesubags Says:

      Thank you for your reaction. It’s a while ago I wrote this post, would have to go through it again to react adequately to your comment. I can tell you one thing: am not right-wing who wants to bash everything that’s different, but certainly am not fond of Ingrid Betancourt. After reading her book Rage in my Heart in 2001 I had enough of that lady, who thinks of herself as kind of a Joan of Arc. That was even before the kidnapping, by the way.

  6. dissent Says:

    Ok, you find Ms. Betancourt messianic so you don’t like her personally. You have a right to your opinion.

    Where I’m critical is you repeating that El Tiempo propaganda as if it was a fact. I’ve read Ms. Betancourt’s account of her experience as well as “Out of Captivity” (from the perspective of the Americans) and I don’t think an honest reader of these books is likely to come to the conclusions El Tiempo tells you to reach. In these books, Ms. Betancourt is arrogant, sometimes foolish, but consistently heroic. While I suppose you ahve your own reasons (resentment I guess?) for hating on Ms. Betancourt but you need to be careful regurgitating propaganda.

    I mean, there are so few honest politicians in Colombia. If all the media has to do is come up with some personal slander against them to turn public opinion, then progressive politics is royally fucked. It’s just frustrating how easily these mofos can distract us from real issues and focus the discourse on bullshit.

    So nothing personal, I just find the whole saga depressing. I hope Ms. Betancourt can find some happiness and put the ordeal behind her.

  7. dissent Says:

    Anyway, I don’t mean to get on your case. I just see parallels between El Tiempo in Colombia and Foxnews in my country–right-wing media shaping public opinion….appealing primarily to base primary emotions (eg love of one’s own and outright resentment). And the slander of Ms. Betancourt is an excellent example of this. She was much more valuable to the military as a hostage in the jungle–symbolizing the Farc’s irrationality and cruelty. But now she is a threat to the status quo since even after 7 years of horror she continues to cling to pacifist sentiments and hopes for a peaceful reconciliation of the conflict. So it’s necessary to smear her at the first opportunity. And these winger Colombians swallow the propaganda like zombies.

    If corporate media poisens the discourse and internationalist social democrats and other liberals cannot stand up and tell the truth about the issues that matter , then maybe sicko groups like the FARC are not all wrong when they talk about “paper” democracies.

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