Edited to add on July 15, 2010: On Tuesday, July 13 of this week, Betancourt retracted the claim discussed below.
Remember Ingrid Betancourt? The once presidential candidate in Colombia turned FARC prisoner, turned rescued mujer?
Two years after her liberation from the jungles of Colombia, there are some who are calling Betancourt malagradecida, ungrateful, for going after the Colombian government for monetary damages to compensate for emotional distress and income lost while she was a FARC hostage. Her attorneys say that the Colombian government failed to provide Betancourt
The then President of Colombia, Pastrana, could have airlifted the then presidential candidate in 2002 to the FARC territory, but he chose not to, allegedly because of recently canceled peace talks and National troop movement.
“The defence ministry is surprised and upset by the request, all the more due to the effort and zeal with which our public forces planned and executed the rescue,” the ministry said in a statement on Friday.
“Men and women of the armed forces risked their lives while seeking the liberty of the hostages in an operation that Ingrid Betancourt herself called ‘perfect’.”
The Colombian government is also defending itself saying that when the kidnapping of Betancourt occurred, she had been warned not to travel the way that she did through the jungle because they could not assure her safety and they say that she even signed a statement acknowledging that fact.
Betancourt and her family are seeking 13,000 pesos (6.9 million dollars).
It’s interesting to witness the differences with how the media is covering this story. In Colombia, the press, with it’s strong government influence, is reflecting the sentiments of the offended Colombian government. In Europe, it’s being covered as a straight news story. TIME magazine’s website played up Betancourt’s “rebel girl” image and calling her actions “the cheekiest”.
I wonder if it were a male, U.S. former hostage making the same demand, he would be called “cheeky”.