She was told she was no longer a captive of the FARC after she and the fellow hostages had entered the army helicopter handcuffed and the helicopter had taken off.”We are the Colombian army. You are free,” the soldiers told her. “The helicopter almost crashed, because we were jumping, screaming crying and hugging after hearing the news,” Betancourt said at a press conference in Bogotá, only hours after her liberation.Betancourt spoke with great respect for the Colombian army. “What they did was get us out of there without firing a single shot. I think this is an action of peace,” She said.
Betancourt thanked God, the virgin Mary, the Colombian army and government, her family and the Colombians who had prayed for her and had her in her heart. She thanked France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy for his efforts to liberate her and the French people who continued to support her.Most of all Betancourt expressed her gratitude to fellow hostage William Pérez, who she called her greatest support. Pérez, a police nurse and held hostage in the same camp as Betancourt, had nursed her when she had turned ill. “If it wasn’t for him, I would be dead,” she said.Betancourt promised to keep fighting for those who are still held hostage by Colombia’s guerrillas. “We won’t forget those who are left behind,” she said.