Friday, July 11, 2008

The New Republic article on Betancourt marrige: makes sense

Updated : 7/16/08 Go to article noted below on Clara Rojas partly answers my question: What was relationship between Rojas and Betancourt? According to article I read from Le Monde news service, Rojas and Betancourt had had no contact with each other for the past 3 years. When they were together in the jungle, Betancourt made baby cothes for Rojas newborn. I was wrong to assume something was wrong there or so I believe.

go to



Update above by pic. Betancourt receives Legion Medal of Honor from France's President Sarkozy. She deserves it but the one who gives it to her is a right wing conservative-strange" bedfellows". Should we trust where all this is going? Or will it just be a good book and blockbuster movie and who knows what else.

7/10/08 This Just In: Six Years of Torture Take Toll on Marriage
Ingrid Betancourt's release from FARC rebels on July 2 marked the end of a six-year nightmare. In addition to the constant feeling of bugs crawling all over her body, the mental torture of being screamed at incessantly, and the near starvation she faced every day, there are still some horrors she can't yet discuss. According to, in an interview with Larry King, "Betancourt also would not detail the punishment she endured after a failed escape attempt. 'Oh, that was horrible,' she said before telling King that she was 'not ready for that.'" Nor would she talk about the circumstances of a child born to another hostage in captivity. What Betancourt is doing is shining more of a global light than we've seen in many years on a intolerably sadistic rebel group. Which is why it is galling to see the following headline accompanying a CNN story about Betancourt: "Betancourt's Husband Admits Icy Reunion." Apparently, she wasn't as warm to husband Juan Carlos Lecompte as, well, as what? As a survivor of six years of torture should be? It seems that before leaving for France without him--no!--she "greeted him coldly." Well, I guess he is the real victim here after all. Thanks CNN, for bringing us all angles of the story.

--Sacha Zimmerman

Monday, July 07, 2008

U.S. Media Coverage of Betancourt & Other Hostages: A Critique

Read blog entry below the pics of Betancourt.

"Former hostage Ingrid Betancourt touches her husband, Juan Carlos Lecompte, as she arrives at a military base in Bogota, Colombia, July 2 after being rescued from years in captivity. Many said she greeted him coldly. Lecompte said their marriage may be over." (Below) Dressed in black jacket with hands clasped looking very well but also very tired (exhausted) Betancourt is interviewed in a Paris hotel a week after her release. updates since 7/7/08go to

(PIC) Re: Betancourt is pictured at the time she was running on her third party ticket Oxygen in Columbia back in 2002

U.S. Media Coverage of Betancourt & Other Hostages: A Critique 7/7/08

"When Ingrid Betancourt was released a few days ago from her jungle "prison" in Columbia along with 3 american hostages, I was surprised to learn Betancourt had been a Columbian Senator and was abducted by the militant revolutionary group known as FARC 6 years ago while running for the Presidency of Columbia for a third party she had created called Oxygen Green Party. This was news to me. What a story people around the world have been following closely especially in France where she grew up and married her first husband, a French diplomat, and of course, in Columbia but in many other countries in the world except for the U.S. which only focused on hostage releases but not the background story on political parties in Columbia and Betancourt's fight against corruption and her quest for democracy in that country. According to Betancourt and her supporters, the main parties, Conservative and Liberal are corrupt and totally bought off by the drug cartels that rule Columbia. Perhaps, if I read Spanish newspapers I would have known about these events but that doesn't excuse the mediiocrity and lack of depth or lack of background information on the mainstream U.S. news reports both in print and on the air. I suppose public radio news covered the politics behind these events which I am embarassed to say I do not listen to often enough. I need to make it a point to tune in to Amy Goodman and others on Democracy Now on KPFK every morning. Also should have tuned in to public stations focusing on Latin American stories.

Finally, after CNN Anderson Cooper started dropping bits and pieces of her fascinating life story, a detailed documentary was released about the events leading up to Betencourt and her Vice-Presidential nominee's Clara Rojas's abduction in 2002. Rojas story also seems remarkable and the pieces have not come together via U.S. media on Rojas's viccitudes in the jungle though it appears she was released from captivity in January of 2008 ahead of Betancourt. The only piece of information I could glean on Rojas came from Wikipedia stating that she had a baby in the jungle ( the father was a Farc member) that she cared for until the baby was taken away and raised by a peasant family and then very recently returned to Rojas through the wonders of the DNA process, another remarkable story. Well now we have part of the story but from my point of view it comes too late. I wonder if the fact that Betancourt and her supporters are left of liberal has anything to do with the lack of coverage in the U.S.?

interesting additional comments at under The Hostages Speak

also go to

P.S. I researched past reports on situation in Columbia by Democracy Now and it appeared there was not much coverage of the Betancourt story there as I expected. Two articles but none really gave background at least not in the last 2 years same as mainstream media.

P.S. I do agree with some reports that there is something fishy about the mainstream reports that the Columbian military with the help of the American intelligence pulled this whole episode and rescue off without some kind of infiltation of the Farc or some kind of payment of ransom for the hostages. We may never know how this really happened. Betanacourt version of events sounds genuine but she also seems very guarded about much of the details, part of which is understandable. I am very curious about Betancourt's refusal to talk about Clara Rojas. I get the feeling Rojas did something to hurt the other hostages or to undermine their safety or else she is being protected from media curiosity by Betancourt, not clear which.