In 2002, when campaigning to become president of Colombia, the former Senator and leader of the Green Oxygen Party was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and held captive for six years in the Colombian jungle. Those six years – the terror and the hopelessness, the disintegration of self – are the subject of her recent memoir Even Silence Has an End. When, in 2008, she was rescued by the Colombian military, international media captured each moment as Ingrid Betancourt rejoined the world.
Ingrid Betancourt was born in Colombia and raised in France. In 1989 she returned to Colombia to pursue a career in politics. She was elected to the legislature on an anti-corruption platform. She speaks with Radio National’s Peter Mares about what sustained her, the heroism of those who rescued her and the controversy that has plagued her since.
Ingrid Betancourt is in Australia as a guest of the Wheeler Centre and the Sydney Writers' Festival.
Ingrid Betancourt, a French-Colombian politician and author of the memoir Even Silence Has an End, was held hostage from 2002 to 2008 by FARC rebels.
Peter Mares is an independent writer and researcher. He is a contributing editor for online magazine Inside Story and a senior moderator with The Cranlana Programme. Peter was a broadcaster with the ABC for twenty-five years, serving as a foreign correspondent based in Hanoi and presenting national radio programs. His latest book is Not Quite Australian: How Temporary Migration Is Changing the Nation.