Betancourt is in Washington to promote her book “Even Silence has an End,” which chronicles her six years of captivity in the jungle.
Mono Jojoy is believed to be responsible for ordering Betancourt’s kidnapping in 2002.
“He is one of the most bloodthirsty commanders of the guerrillas in Colombia. I always thought that as long as Mono Jojoy was alive, there would be no chance for a serious peace process,” said Betancourt.
Because Mono Jojoy was a man “who wanted war no matter what,” said the politician, his death may provide an opening for “Alfonso Cano,” the FARC’s supreme leader, to pursue a political peace solution, because Cano is known more as a “political commander.”
Betancourt hailed the killing as an “incredible victory for the Colombian army” which “strengthened the negotiating position of the new president, Juan Manuel Santos.”
The French-Colombian added that it will be difficult to predict what impact this development will have on the remaining hostages, as the FARC is a “secluded and autistic” organization.
A controversial figure in Colombia, Betancourt was rescued from captivity by Colombian military in 2008 in “Operation Checkmate,” but later sought damages from the Colombian government for over $6 million.
Betancourt argued that the peace process in Colombia must be cultural as well as political; “I think that to really have peace in Colombia … we need to put our hearts at peace … there is too much hatred in my country.”