2002 / february / 25

ingrid betancourt kidnapped in columbia

a few months ago, i read a long interview with ingrid betancourt, which left me very impressed. she left a safe life in france to return to her native country columbia, knowing that she could do more there than far away, but also that it would be so dangerous that her husband and children had to stay in europe, pretty much in hiding, not to mention that she needs fulltime bodyguards herself. her message against corruption, as expressed in books, interviews with (mostly foreign, ie. non-columbian papers) is simply too dangerous. a woman of incredible courage, intelligence, wit and heart.
she talked about the real danger not being the extreme forces on left and right, but the complaceny with the people who should know better - especially the press. she didn't come across as an extremist to me, rather the opposite - reasonable, just outspoken in a country where not many dare to speak out.
rebel forces kidnapped her yesterday - so far, the news coverage has been rather tepid. as if's was just another columbian politician. she isn't. it's as if the global media just follow what the columbian media report, with lukewarm articles as a result. They should be on fire! Especially the BBC!
i hope she makes it through - for her, and for the sake of honesty in a country that needs it badly.
here's a small article from the same paper that last year ran the full-page interview - with a photo that captures the essence of her choice (it's much more impressive than the small thumb on the right). very touching (article's in dutch).

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