… A little background.
Ingrid Betancourt, is a Colombian senator who was kidnapped by FARC during her historic presidential campaign in February 2002 while in the process of negotiating peace talks with FARC officials near the town of San Vicente De Caguán. FARC is one of the world’s primary terrorist organizations which funds its operations through drug trafficking and money derived from ransoms estimated at $1 Billion a year. Roughly 8,000-15,000 active soldiers are enlisted in the guerilla army, including women and children. The UN condemns FARC for its human rights violations, terrorist activities and for being the largest user of landmines in the world, which Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont campaigned for US aid to treat landmine victims. Over 700 hostages are currently held by FARC, targeting journalists, human rights activists, politicians and civilian dissenters. For more info about FARC and narco-terrorism, I highly recommend Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ non-fiction book, “News of a Kidnapping” (Noticias de un secuestro).
Ingrid Betancourt’s mother, Yolanda Pulecio, started a worldwide human rights campaign to gain support for her daughter’s and the hundreds of FARC hostages’ release. Since Ingrid is a Colombian-French dual citizen upon marrying her first husband Fabrice Delloye, Yolanda’s plea reached newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who in 2007, urged Colombian officials to release FARC commander Rodrigo Granda in exchange for Ingrid. Columbian officials released a number of FARC detainees but FARC would not release their star hostage.
In April 2008, news of Ingrid’s hunger strike and subsequent poor health reached Latin American media. Images of a tortured, Hepatitis-B stricken Ingrid mortified millions of Latin Americans both in North and South America, marked with hollowed cheeks and eyes, speaking about her continued hunger strike since her health was her only negotiating tool against the rebel army. Univision and Telemundo bumped up their coverage of FARC and Ingrid Betancourt’s failing health. France sent medical envoys to treat Ingrid, but to no avail. FARC promised to get Ingrid adequate medical care but Ingrid refused food and medicine. Ultimately, she ended her strike after pleas from her family reached Ingrid at her impenetrable hostage camp deep in the Amazonian jungle.
BUT EVERYTHING CHANGED WHEN – ta-ta-taaaaan (insert musical fanfare here) on July 2nd 2008, during John McCain’s Colombian stop on his US presidential campaign tour of Latin America, Columbian covert special ops teams disguised as FARC rebels rescued Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other hostages, including 3 American aeronautical defense contractors kidnapped in 2003 – all in the SAME DAY.
Gee, I wonder who helped the Colombian army with infrared space satellites than can see through the dense Amazonian jungle locate the band of hostages that contained Ingrid & the Americans hostages?
Meanwhile, CNN/Univision/Telemundo’s reporting the story as:
John McCain = Ingrid Betancourt hostage rescue.
Notice, the 3 American contractors are a sideline, an accessory, a little decorative item to the story.