...while the political situation in Colombia has improved by leaps and bounds, the country's Revolutionary Armed Forces (Spanish acronym FARC) still have many hostages in their grip, including American defense contractors and former Presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt.
In a statement issued on June 27th by the FARC, Ms. Betancourt, who has dual French-Colombian citizenship, is doing well, as are the American hostages. It appears that the kindappers are willing to negotiate their release. Keep in mind, Betancourt has been held hostage for FOUR YEARS now.
While living in Paris, Betancourt published one of the most informative accounts on the Colombian conflict, a civil-war that has taken many forms since the 1950s as a political, religious, and narco-terrorist assault on the country. Her book, "Rabia en el Corazon" (Anger in the Heart) was released shortly before her kidnapping. To get an idea of what her ordeal must be like, check out my favorite book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, News of a Kidnapping.
After writing about Cuba last night, I got to thinking about the impact Marxism has had on Colombia. In their fight for an egalitarian society, the rebels have dashed so much of Colombia's potential to be a leader, a beacon, in Latin America. The drug cartels, while proponents of the worst wave of violence ever seen in the country, ironically created the country's middle class, who are now the targets of insurgent groups. So in thinking about Marxism, victimization and Colombia, I thought of Ingrid Betancourt.
I read an interview with her in Paris Match when I was a student in Paris, and my hope was that I would get the chance to meet her while I was there. While that didn't happen, I was inspired by her story, I thought that perhaps she would spearhead a movement that would put Colombia back on the right course.
It's hard not to get angry and combative when you're discussing issues like this. While we're discussing politics and pontificating from our blogs, people are dying and living the conflicts we're milling over.