Posted by Adriaan Alsema on Sep 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Betancourt feels ‘hurt’ by Colombia

Colombia news - Ingrid Betancourt

Former hostage Ingrid Betancourt says she feels “very hurt” by Colombia, because of her 2002-2008 captivity by FARC rebels and clashes with the government after her release.

“I am very hurt by Colombia, because it was unfair … my family, all of us, we have suffered a lot,” Betancourt on Wednesday said at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. where she was promoting her new book.

Betancourt admitted to resenting the fact that she has been blamed for her six and a half year captivity by FARC rebels, when in her opinion the Colombian state failed her.

The French-Colombian politician earlier sought compensation from the Colombian government for the damages suffered, but withdrew this request after heavy criticism and public indignation.

“I want to make it clear on this, because the only [group] responsible for my kidnapping was the FARC. I am not saying that the government at the time of my kidnapping was responsible, but I do not accept that I was responsible for my own kidnapping,” Betancourt said.

According to Betancourt, she had the right to bodyguards at the time of her abduction because she was an official candidate for the presidency. She claims those bodyguards were withdrawn.

“If [the zone where she was kidnapped] was that dangerous and if it was a war zone at the time, like they now say they told me, their obligation was to not allow me to pass the military checkpoint … and they didn’t stop me like they didn’t stop anyone,” the former hostage said.

“Maybe I am being very annoying to the people who only want to hide the truth, but this is what happened and of course I am very hurt with Colombia, because it was very unfair,” she added.

Betancourt is currently touring the world to promote her new book “Even Silence has an End” about the time she spent as a hostage of the FARC in the southern Colombian jungle.