Was Kidnapped by FARC and Held Captive for Six Years
Íngrid Betancourt Pulecio (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈiŋɡɾið βetaŋˈkuɾ]; born 25 December 1961) is a Colombian-French politician, former senator and anti-corruption activist, especially opposing political corruption.
Betancourt was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on 23 February 2002 while campaigning for the Colombian presidency as a Green, and was rescued by Colombian security forces six and a half years later on 2 July 2008. The rescue operation, dubbed Operation Jaque, rescued Betancourt along with 14 other hostages (three United States citizens, and 11 Colombian policemen and soldiers). She had decided to campaign in the former “zone of dissention”, after the military operation “Tanatos” was launched, and after the zone was declared free of guerrillas by the government. Her kidnapping received worldwide coverage, particularly in France, where she also held citizenship due to her prior marriage to a French diplomat.Betancourt has received multiple international awards, such as the Légion d’honneur. In 2008, she received the Concord Prince of Asturias Award. After her release, she was portrayed by some of her fellow captives as “controlling and manipulative”; others described her as “caring” and “courageous”. One of them (Luis Eladio Perez) claims Betancourt saved his life.