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| 10/8/2010 12:00:00 AM

Q&A: Ingrid Betancourt on Kidnapping and Freedom

October 8--Ingrid Betancourt sat down with TIME to discuss her captivity, and life after the release.

Nearly a half-century long, the civil war in Colombia has seen its fair share of dramatic moments. But few stand out like Operation Checkmate. On July 2, 2008, Colombian soldiers disguised as members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group flew off with a rebel helicopter that had 15 hostages inside. Among those rescued was a former presidential candidate, Ingrid Betancourt. As she became the public face for all FARC hostages, Betancourt endured torture, humiliation and even friction with her fellow hostages. She has just written a book about the experience, entitled Even Silence Has an End. Betancourt sat down with TIME to discuss her captivity, and life after the release.

How did this experience change you?

I think that before I was a very stubborn person. I thought that you could change the world by sheer will. Now I am more serene. I had this vision of Colombia and of people divided into good and bad. Now I think things are not as simple. I think that Colombia's divided into two Colombias. There's a Colombia that lives like we live in the United States, forgetting what the other part of Colombia lives like, and wanting to forget.
 
Read more here.

Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.

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