Colombia airs Ingrid Betancourt kidnap mini-series

“Operation Checkmate,” a television mini-series based on the kidnapping and rescue of Ingrid Betancourt, will air from July 20 to July 23 on Colombia’s Caracol channel.

Betancourt was kidnapped by the FARC on February 23, 2002, when she traveled to the newly-remilitarized El Caguan area to campaign for the presidency. Colombia’s armed forces rescued her and thirteen others in the highly celebrated liberation mission “Operation Checkmate” on July 2, 2008.

The mini-series, which was filmed in high definition and has a runtime of four hours, took two and a half months to film and was shot almost entirely in the Colombian jungle. It stars Marcela Mar as Ingrid Betancourt, Cristina Campuzano as Clara Rojas, and Julian Arango as “Gafas,” one of the FARC kidnappers.

Talking about the project, Marcela Mar said “the script is very well done, it does not aim to take sides with what happened, instead we built the characters in a human way, without characterizing the heroes and villain.” She added “I loved the direction.”

The mini-series is a Television Española project and was produced by Paraiso Pictures and Pentagrama Films.

Betancourt was a figure of immense controversy in both Colombian and international media, after she launched a petition for $6.5 million from the Colombian government as damages for the six years she spent as a FARC hostage. She has since withdrawn her claim.

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