Showing posts with label Ingrid Betancourt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ingrid Betancourt. Show all posts

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Extraordinary TV evening

Last night, Christine and I were enchanted by yet another superb documentary in the Ushuaïa Nature series by Nicolas Hulot... whom I first mentioned back on 12 December 2006 in an article entitled Monsieur Hulot [display]. This time, the theme of Hulot's adventures was the Amazon in Brazil.

After a few preliminaries about the suicidal destruction of this Amazonian vegetation that is an essential component of Man's survival, punctuated by delightful shots of contacts with friendly dolphins, Hulot plunged into a fabulous reportage of his encounter with a community of naked Indians called the Zo'é.

Members of this small and tightly-knit tribe live in a harmonious Jungle of Eden, where the greatest danger consists of getting killed by a serpent or a panther. Their method of resolving certain social conflicts between members of the community involves laughing. The protagonists are made to lie down on the ground, where they are tickled until they burst out into mad laughter.

Enthralled by Hulot's amazing and magnificent documentary, Christine and I could hardly believe our eyes when we discovered a textual message scrolling across the bottom of the TV screen, informing viewers that Ingrid Betancourt had just been liberated. It was one of those exceptional news items, like the death of President Kennedy (except that, this time, it was wonderful news), when you never forget what you were doing when you received the message. Christine and I, like countless French TV viewers yesterday evening, will surely never forget that we were watching Nicolas Hulot in Amazonia. But, up until the end of the Ushuaïa program, there was no detailed news yet, neither on TV nor on the Internet: nothing more than the message that scrolled non-stop across the screen. And then everything started to happen rapidly.

We imagined confusedly that we might soon see terrible video sequences of a fragile Ingrid Betancourt being wheeled out of a military helicopter on a stretcher, under the surveillance of a medical team. Instead of that, we were amazed by the image of a sturdy smiling combatant, in military clothes, striding down from an airliner like an astronaut who has just returned safely, and in perfect health, from a mission to a remote spot in the sky. A few minutes later, Ingrid was addressing spectators on the tarmac in the style of a politician, a statesman, a general. At times, as she shared with us her vision of six years as a hostage in the jungle, Ingrid had the saintly regard of a madonna from a medieval painting. She had the same kind of simple and ethereal splendor as a Zo'é native, on the fringe of our cruel planet.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Liberation of two Columbian hostages

The release by the FARC of Clara Rojas and Consuelo Gonzalez was, to a large extent, the outcome of the intervention of Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela.

Fabrice Delloye, the former husband of Ingrid Betancourt and the father of Mélanie and Lorenzo, has indicated publicly that the French president Nicolas Sarkozy also played a role in this event. On the other hand, Alvaro Uribe, president of Columbia, appeared to be absent from the context in which this liberation finally took place.

Personally, I find it hard to understand Chavez when he suggests that the FARC should be considered, not as a terrorist group, but as a "true army". Normally, legitimate soldiers don't kidnap hundreds of hostages and kill civilians with roadside bombs.

Clara Rojas judges severely the organization that held her captive in the jungle for six years: "Taking hostages is a crime against humanity. I am most worried by the fact that they call themselves the people's army, and that we see them training people for kidnapping."

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Tense frustrations concerning Colombian hostages

We must understand that it's normal for the promised transfer of hostages of the Colombian Farc to be subject to all kinds of more-or-less unexpected delays and obstacles. We're not playing a polite diplomatic game among gentlemen. Everybody knows perfectly well that, if ever regular Venezuelan and Colombian political powers and armies were capable of detecting the slightest breach in the defensive system of the Farc, they would exploit it instantly, and blast the arse off these arrogant outlaws. So, the outlaws have every reason to be ultra-wary.

Needless to say, like every other citizen of the world concerned by the struggle for the liberation of Ingrid Betancourt, I hope sincerely that the bloody Farc will screw up something or other, and get blasted into eternal oblivion. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

They're not honorable guerillas, merely mindless outlaws, inhuman jungle vermin... like some of my ancestral bushrangers (not to mention any names).

Thursday, May 24, 2007


It's encouraging to hear that Raul Reyes, second in charge of the Farc [Columbian Marxist guerrilla], has actually contacted Nicolas Sarkozy, asking him to try to bring about the creation in Columbia of a demilitarized zone in which negociations could be carried out with a view to exchanging prisoners, including Ingrid Betancourt.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Five years as a political hostage

People in France are familiar with the photo of Ingrid Betancourt, who has dual French-Colombian nationality. While campaigning politically in Colombia on 23 February 2002, Ingrid was kidnapped by FARC guerrillas (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). Today, there are no firm projects for rescuing her. Worse, nobody even knows if she's still alive.

In France, Ingrid's daughter Mélanie Delloye has been fighting relentlessly to make sure that her mother's plight is not forgotten. It's a small consolation to be able to take advantage of the forthcoming French presidential elections to remind everybody that more needs to be done to find her mother.

The Socialist candidate Ségolène Royal has just signed a manifesto submitted by the French committee concerned with the Betancourt case. Among other things, Madame Royal has promised that, if she were to be elected president of France, she would call upon both the European Union and the USA in a long-overdue attempt to rescue Ingrid Betancourt.