Former Colombian presidential candidate and FARC hostage victim, Ingrid Betancourt announced that her guerrilla captivity was harsher because she is a woman.
Betancourt, who was rescued in 2008 after six years in captivity, declared in an interview on Canadian television that the guerrillas “hated her” for being a woman, a position they believed to be ‘priviliged’.
Betancourt was in Canada last week to receive several awards, including the prestigious ‘Women of Courage’ honor. She also conducted the interview with journalist Melissa Fung, who herself was detained by the Taliban in Afganistan last year.
In the interview Betancourt recalled events from her ordeal, such as her distress at learning of her fathers death. She also emphasized her feelings of “guilt” for the pain she caused her family during her captivity.
She described how the guerrillas despised her for being educated and politically active.
Finally, Betancourt admitted that she had never expected her kidnapping by the FARC to take place due to the fact that ten days beforehand, she had been staying amongst all the commanders of the guerrilla group as part of her presidential campaign in 2002.
While laureled abroad, Betancourt inside Colombia is controversial. After her release from captivity she was criticized for leaving for France immediately and not doing enough for the hostages still in jungle camps.