The New York Times | 9/21/2010 12:00:00 AM
Held Captive, yet Clinging to Hope
September 21--For all its horror and injustice, the experience of the political prisoner held in inhuman conditions has often been transformed into compelling literature; just think of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and “The Gulag Archipelago” or novelists like Dumas and Arthur Koestler.
A Colombian politician of French descent, Ms. Betancourt was taken hostage in February 2002 by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, a left-wing guerrilla group that sustains itself through cocaine trafficking and kidnappings. She became a valuable bargaining chip in the group’s decades-long war with the Colombian government, but, as a member of the country’s elite, she was also treated with brutality and contempt by her captors, many of them poor young peasants.
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