Saturday 19 August 2017

Betancourt was 'out of control' claims fellow hostage in book

Andrew Pierce in London

THE heroic status of Ingrid Betancourt, who was rescued from six years in the hands of Marxist guerrillas deep in the Colombian jungle, has been shattered by a memoir from her fellow captives.

Miss Betancourt (47) had spent much of the time chained by her neck to a tree and subjected to torture by the terrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

But the most provocative claim from the first book about the experience, 'Out of Captivity', by three American prisoners, concerned the behaviour of Miss Betancourt, a Colombian politician, with dual French nationality. One of the American prisoners said she was haughty, self-absorbed, stole their food, hoarded books and risked their lives by informing the guards that they were CIA.

Keith Stansell (44) a former marine, said: "I watched her try to take over the camp with an arrogance that was out of control. Some of the guards treated us better than she did."

Mr Stansell was freed along with Miss Betancourt, fellow contractors Thomas Howes and Marc Gonsalves, and 11 Colombians, when military agents scooped them out of a jungle clearing last July. The three Americans take turns narrating their experiences in the book. The other two agree with Mr Stansell on most issues, but don't always see eye-to-eye with him on Miss Betancourt.

Miss Betancourt declined to comment on the allegations. (Daily Telegraph, London)

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