Betancourt’s son Lorenzo Delloye-Betancourt said on France-Info radio Wednesday that he was “really surprised and happy” but he said he was waiting for more information about the release. “If true, the most beautiful news of my life,” he added.”At the moment we are trying to digest the news that took us by surprise. We feel a tremendous joy. The whole family is happy and I expect many people to come to the house to celebrate,” Patricia Medina, wife of U.S.hostage Keith Stansell said.George Gonsalves was mowing his lawn Wednesday afternoon when he got the news that that his son had been freed after five years as a hostage of leftist rebels in Colombia. “I didn’t know how to stop my lawnmower,” Gonsalves said. “I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it.”Families of the eleven military and police officers reacted equally thrilled.”I am crying of happiness. God is great. Our prayers have been heard and I am filled with joy. They never told us anything and we are taken by surprise,” the mother of police officer William Pérez said.”Today I feel the happiest woman on earth and I am very thankful to the government for this wonderful news. I feel reborn and can’t wait to be reunited with my son,” the mother of Jhon Jairo Durán, a rescued police officer said.”A thousand thanks to all people who were involved in this process . We really have always waited for this happening and never lost hope. The only thing left now is a big party and welcome home party for my son,” the father of one of the released soldiers said.The news of the liberation caused a standing ovation in French Parliament, where French lawmakers were in session. A spokesman of the parliament welcomed the liberation, but asked not to forget the hostages still held by the guerrillas.Pope Benedict XVI said he was “happy for the liberation of Ingrid Betancourt”. He hopes the rescue is a “sign of peace for Colombia”.
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