Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | July 13, 2010

Ingrid Betancourt Receives World Prize for Hypocrisy, Opportunism and Ingratitude

Shameful. Disgraceful. Disappointing. That’s Ingrid Betancourt, the former Colombian presidential candidate who was held hostage by the FARC for six years until she was rescued by the Colombian army. Turns out, she is now suing the Colombian government for $6.8 million dollars in reparation damages.

I’ll tell you the story as I and every Colombian understands it (you need to hear the Colombian version because Europeans are convinced Ingrid was kidnapped by the government so as to be rescued by the government so it could seem the hero. Amazing that Europeans could believe that; probably the result of Ingrid’s mother’s chats with the French press). The story is, Ingrid was kidnapped by the FARC on February 23, 2002 when she—voluntarily—drove to a zone which two days prior had been demilitarized and under complete FARC control and which the army was in the process of reclaiming. There were heavy combats. (Hey, dear reader, would you consider lunching with me tomorrow in Afghanistan? Yes, her decision was THAT stupid.) She was then a presidential candidate—with no chance at Casa Nariño; of course not, her decision-making skills had already made her a total duh for the job—and she sustained she needed to support her party in that region.

While in captivity, Ingrid was held with three American contractors, Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes and Keith Stansell. Stansell has said, “I watched her try to take over the camp with an arrogance that was out of control. Some of the guards treated us better than she did.” Howes has said Ingrid is “a person who likes to control and manipulate, for whom being in captivity was very difficult.” She did not like to share food in equal portions and was “interested in herself.”

Ingrid was rescued by the army on July 2, 2008, and following Operation Jaque, she took the microphone, as is typical of Ingrid Betancourt because, of course, she was who had to be heard, not the other three Americans or the other eleven Colombian military and police also rescued along with her. She referred to the army “as her family,” thanked Juan Manuel Santos, who was then the defense minister and who orchestrated the rescue, “for his audacity,” and congratulated President Uribe because he “knew how to play his cards.” Further, she asked Colombians to “believe in this army of ours which is going to bring us to peace.” Really, we were happy for her. She was free!

Then, the bombdrop…

Last June 30, Ingrid filed the lawsuit against the Colombian government alleging the state failed to warn her of the security risks. Military officials and the peace commissioner, Camilo Gomez, warned her repeatedly—in fact, it’s been documented she received 32 warnings not to go. They did all they could to stop her, short of getting on their knees and begging, or tying her up. Her bodyguard said she was kidnapped by her own stubborness.

Ingrid’s claim that she would have earned $6.8 million dollars during the time she was kidnapped is preposterous. She was a politician, so from where would she have earned more than one million dollars a year? Are you saying you, too, are corrupt, Ingrid? She has since reportedly raked in close to $7 million dollars in a book deal about the captivity, a book that would not have existed had she not been a FARC hostage.

Is there a word for people who refuse to leave the spotlight? Maybe it’s called ingridism. My guess is—her book is about to come out and she needs the publicity and that is why she sued, to get her name back in the headlines and generate interest.

What a sure way to be hated! Despised. Abhorred. When news of her demand broke, enraged Colombians expressed their views: Ingrid, go back to France and take your mother with you; Ingrid, we wish you had not been rescued; Ingrid, F@@++..#@ … and so on. I, for one, have joined these two Facebook groups: Ingrid Betancourt Receives World Prize for Hypocrisy, Opportunism and Ingratitude and Let’s declare Ingrid Betancourt a Person Non-Grata.

A friend of mine said, Pay her but with the promise she will never step foot in Colombia again. Well, you can bet one thing: her political career in Colombia is over. Over.

Ingrid, please, get yourself a good shrink and stick to the appointments. It’s heart-breaking to see your demise.


  1. If you read the books written by the other hostages, then you know the t ruth and nothing but the ruth.

  2. I am a “European” who understood full well from the outset via our independent media (print and otherwise) that Ingrid Betancourt was kidnapped by FARC. Where you get the absurd idea that “Europeans” believed she was abducted by the Columbian Government etc. is beyond me. Sadly your report reads more like a rant than an informative Columbian view of the events around Ms Betancourt’s abduction and captivity. Irrespective of her and your political views her account of her time in captivity is riviting, her considered thoughts on how humans behave in captivity echoes that of Primo Levi’s accounts of his time in the concentration camp. These former captives/prisoners have a legitimate story to tell of what happens to us humans when we are imprisoned. Kidnapping is a dreadful crime, holding humans hostage is cruel and shocking. None of us know how we will behave in such a situation. With regard to suing the State for compensation. Is there not a fund in Columbia set up by the Columbian Government that permits such claims from former captives? If this is the case then why should Ms Betancourt be excluded? Does she not have as much right as any other former captive to make a claim to such a fund?

  3. This is a shameful, hateful, and ignorant rant.
    The Columbian government failed to protect Ingrid Betancourt, period.
    Whether she was warned to go or not, she was promised security guards and was issued none.
    By not defending and supporting Ingrid you are supporting a poorly run government.

  4. This just sounds petty to me. Ingrid Betancourt has had to forgive a lot of shit that’s been done to her, you can’t even forgive her for making choices you find wrong, knowing what crazyness lead up to it? Can you honestly predict what kind of human you would turn out to be in the same situation? Do yourself a favour, and look more objectively on the quotes from Keith Stansell. How can you trust a man habouring such obvious hate towards Betancourt not to be blinded by it? Would you expect a person hating you to give a fair account of your actions? Take your precaucions when handling a testimony such as his, and don’t let it stand alone.
    If you find Ingrid Betancourt so aggravatingly arrogant, try some humility on for yourself. You don’t know her, you don’t know Keith, you don’t know the situation they went through or what it did to them – what it would do to you. If you can’t have respect for someone in that situation, at least have respect for what they went through, and find it in you to FORGIVE whatever you’re angry over. They’ve already recieved their punishment, including Ingrid.
    If you must express your anger over her actions, do so without the spite. It’s distasteful.

  5. I felt very disappointed reading this posting. I came to this link to search for information and instead found what appears to me to be a bitter tirade against someone you do not know, based on a lot of personal assumptions. I have learned in my life never to trust information that is communicated too emotionally and without objectivism. I am sorry for you that you carry in your life such a burden of negativity.

  6. Did Oprah ask her about the lawsuit?

    • Oprah did not ask her about the lawsuit. She did, however, ask her what was up with her fellow hostages disliking her so much to which Ingrid replied, “they are like my family.” She says it’s because she has spent much more time with them, and in such close quarters, than with her own family. Check out today’s post: “Oprah brought out the human in Ingrid Betancourt.”

  7. Ingrid Betancourt Receives World Prize for Hypocrisy, Opportunism ……

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  8. I would like to exchange links with your site
    Is this possible?

  9. Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

    • C’est bon de reprendre cnocinfe en l’Homme parfois et ces petites miracles sont des aubaines de bonheur.Nous parlions e9galement au bureau hier soir de la re9-inte9gration dans la vie apre8s 6 ans de captivite9, une sante9 plus que fragilise9e et l’impasse sur 6 ans d’un monde qui a change9 et mute9. J’espe8re qu’elle se repre9sentera e0 la pre9sidence, elle a plus que prouve9 sa volonte9 et sa re9sistance.Un peu comme les Lettres de la maison de la mort je ne peux jamais relire la lettre que les FARC lui avait demande9 d’e9crire pour prouver qu’elle e9tait toujours en vie sans y laisser une e9motion et des larmes qui montent aux yeux.

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