Posted at 5:40 PM on July 2, 2008
by Jeff Horwich
It's a cool story, all on its own: 15 Hostages dragged around the jungle for six years, broken out -- all alive -- in a single operation by the Columbian military.
But, damn! Those Columbians know how to throw a press conference. The news is barely out there when all the hostages roll up on the tarmac, step out of the plane one by one, and follow the military commanders at the microphone. (The three Americans were not among them -- evidently they're already on the way back to the states.)
Ingrid Betancourt has been talking for 10 minutes now and they left it to her to tell the blow-by-blow story of how the operation actually unfolded. And that woman knows how to stage a performance.
Brilliant! One of the most gripping live news events I think I've seen.
I am Colombian. Ingrid is a very smart politician (and a good one too, honest, strong and independent). She was really happy with the rescue and wanted to talk about it. Her mother had been fighting with Mr. Uribe (our President) because he does not accept to give to FARC a huge area of the country as condition to start talks to free the hostages (kidnapped is the right word). Ingrid wanted to say thanks to the government and the Colombian Army, and asked her mother to show her gratitude too.
The government and our armed forces had the perfect stage to show the world their success. When 4 hostages where released by FARC to Chavez, the President of Venezuela, he ordered the chopper to fly to Venezuela to present the hostages to the circus in his palace in Caracas.
We are really happy with this rescue operation, that speaks clear and loud about the quality of our armed forces.
The Colombian guerrilla groups are dying, They had lost 60% of their troops (and still have 9,000). Their leaders have been killed in action, or murdered by their own guerrillas! The desertion level is too high. This is the result of changing their communist ideas to become the new and bigger drug cartel in the World, and of attacking a president that have tried to get the peace, to talk with them but that does not accept anymore their terrorist methods. We support Uribe (84% popularity, after being reelected).
It is nice that you have found a different face in this new, and focused your post on how cool was the conference. Imagine how we watched it, because we are excited and very happy seeing Ingrid, the three Americans and our 11 soldiers and police coming back to live.
Thanks for you post, and as matter of fact, Columbia is a district in the U.S. Our country is Colombia, and we are Colombians.
Best regards from a Colombian friend,