Ingrid Betancourt, free at last!

Now, this has to be one of the best news of all year!

I was at school when I received a phone call from a friend, just to tell me that she had been freed! I couldn't believe it!

Ingrid Betancourt is a Colombian politician who was kidnapped over 6 years ago (February 23rd, 2002) by the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia)

Over the last year many have been the news related to her, mostly about her health and the inhuman conditions in which she was being forced to live. Hugo Chavez (President of Venezuela) came up with Operation Emmanuel, where Clara Rojas (Ingrid's campaign manager) was released.
It was named Emmanuel in honor of Rojas' child that was conceived while they were captive.

Also, in April, as the uncertainty about her situation was getting worse and worse (specially after an announcement that she had been in a hunger strike for a few weeks) Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France announced that he would launch a humanitarian mission to contact the FARC and hopefully get Ingrid's freedom.

Finally, today in an amazing operation Ingrid Betancourt and other 14 hostages were released by Colombian Military Forces.

"Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said military intelligence agents infiltrated the guerrilla ranks and led the local commander in charge of the hostages, alias Cesar, to believe they were going to take them to Alfonso Cano, the guerrillas' supreme leader.

The hostages, who had been divided in three groups, were taken to a rendezvous where two disguised helicopters piloted by Colombian military agents were waiting. Betancourt said her hands and feet were bound, which she called "humiliating."

The pilots, she said, were posing as members of a relief organization, but "they were dressed like clowns," wearing Che Guevara shirts, so she assumed they were rebels.

But when they were airborne, she looked behind her and saw Cesar, who had treated her so cruelly for so many years, lying on the floor blindfolded.

"The chief of the operation said, 'We're the national army. You're free,'" she said. "The helicopter almost fell from the sky because we were jumping up and down, yelling, crying, hugging one another. We couldn't believe it." " - Excerpt from Internation Herald Tribune.

I don't think that any of the people involved in all this will ever read it, but Congratulations to Colombian Goverment and to Ingrid Betancourt, the 11 colombians and the three americans just a huge HUGE Welcome back!

Yes, I'm excited! I can't help it! Even if the politics in my country are hard to understand, it's amazing to see that somewhere in the world, governments are still fighting for freedom and justice.


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