Ingrid Betancourt’s return to the front line raises more doubts than certainties in Colombia


June 23, 2021 truth commission later created in colombia Agreement between FARC and the government Laying down arms and reintegrating guerrillas into civilian life is one of the most exciting times. Along with other victims and relatives of those kidnapped and murdered, Ingrid Betancourt confronts various leaders of drug trafficking organizations, including Rodrigo Londono, alias “Timochenko”, last commander of the FARC and signer of the peace agreement. With solemnity and composure, Bettencourt uttered some of the most revealing words: “I am amazed that we, on one side of the stage, are all crying, and on the other side, there is not a single tear.”

Of the more than 100,000 murders and nearly 30,000 kidnappings (numbers vary and are difficult to verify), few cases have been more conciliatory than Betancourt.Former senator turned by party as 2002 presidential candidate Oxygen Green When she was kidnapped by the FARC, she was on her way to San Vicente del Car, an area of ​​constant skirmishes between guerrillas and paramilitaries. I don’t like his charisma or his opposition to the negotiations between Andres Pastrana and the revolutionaries.

Even less like his confrontation with drug lords. While Betancourt was by no means one of the favorites in the polls — in fact, the party that made her a candidate barely had more than 50,000 votes — her kidnapping completely marked the campaign as a major coup. On the one hand, kidnapping the former senator is a very powerful weapon when negotiating any settlement. On the other hand, it gives a drifting feeling.

Ingrid Betancourt in the file image.


The problem with FARC is that the winners of those elections are conservatives Alvaro Uribe Uribe ended all negotiating attempts. Therefore, the tunes they intend to play are imprisoned on the chessboard. Betancourt had been a major absentee from Colombian politics for six years when the army managed to free her in what was known as Operation Jacques, when she was held with 14 others in a jungle area near San Jose del Guaviare. , in the southwest of the country.

In those six years, the ferocious and always combative Betancourt tried five times to escape, and from her first life ordeal, she criticized the government and, according to her, her abandonment.Betancourt has been a member of parliament since 1994, when she was less than 33 years old, growing up in Paris and a tireless fighter against drug trafficking, which has made her the target of different cartels on several occasions. 2,323 days in captivity When she came out of the woods, everyone assumed that Ingrid would go back to her former political animal, fighting in Congress or the Senate and running for president again.

10 years out of politics

However, it is not. Betancourt was a conscientious but heartbroken woman. Six years in prison to kill anyone. He left his country and lived in France for a long time, completely abandoning politics. In 2010, two years after his release, he will denounce the Colombian government for demanding nearly seven million euros Losses caused by kidnapping him. The scandal was huge: Uribe’s government, already dying, did not hesitate to publicly blame the victim and accuse her, saying that if she was kidnapped, it was because she did not take the necessary steps.

Such was the political and social reaction to Betancourt’s decision that the former candidate had to withdraw his lawsuit and publicly apologize. He still remembers the forgiveness of the second sentence with shame. First, the guerrillas. Then there is your own government. Betancourt was entitled to this aid, and most importantly, to provide his version of captivity and to denounce the government’s mistakes, but he was not allowed to do so. His days in Colombia are over. Better to go back to Paris and fully recover there.

Ingrid Betancourt when she announced her candidacy.

Ingrid Betancourt when she announced her candidacy.


In the political realm, Betancourt’s career seems to have come to an end, but in the personal realm it has not improved: in 2011, he announced his Juan Carlos Leconte, with another woman for many years. We didn’t hear from her again until 2018, when she backed left-wing senator and candidate Gustavo Petro in the presidential election and right-wing Iván Duque would Win the second round. That same year, a US court ordered FARC to pay Betancourt and his family $36 million. The problem is that the FARC ceased to exist two years ago.

Centro Esperanza League has few options

So, until June 23, 2021, Betancourt, in some way, once again looked directly at the executioner and the Colombian people. Just this week, Do everything possible to announce her candidacy for the 2022 presidential election. According to his own testimony: “I want to finish what I started 20 years ago”. Ingrid Betancourt is no longer 41, but 61. It is unclear whether she is the future of the country or represents its past. His public image has been badly damaged in recent years, and it’s impossible to imagine any good results…but that doesn’t mean he’s going to stop trying.

From the beginning, we didn’t even know if she was a good candidate. Betancourt will in principle be the representative of Verde Oxígeno in the Centro Esperanza consortium. His first big challenge will come next March, when he will compete with six other candidates in the primary to see who will lead the election poster. Now that everything is welcomed and congratulated, let’s see how long it takes for things to get ugly. Corruption appears to be the ‘main theme’ of his campaign, is almost as widespread in Colombia today as it was 20 years ago, and continues to exist in the country’s political future.

Some see Betancourt as a consensus candidate in the polarization of the left and right they represent. Gustavo Petro and Oscar Ivan ZuluagaRight now, opinion polls appear to be clearly leaning toward the former, which will cement the left-leaning trend we’re seeing across almost all of Latin America. The same polls positioned the Centro Esperanza coalition as Petro’s main rivals… Now, all polls are published with Sergio Fajardo, the popular former mayor of Medellin and former governor of Antioquia, as the candidate.

Does the revival of Betancourt mean a boost for Centro Esperanza, or, conversely, will the sector lead to a loss of support? Will he be able to be the kind of gentle but combative figure that combines votes from both sides of the political spectrum, or will his return to politics be a no-brainer until Fajardo has solidified support? For several years, Petro has dominated the polls with such a powerful authority that it’s hard not to see him as the new president nationwide from June 19. A real disaster will have to happen. Could Betancourt be that disaster? Impossible to know. In any case, it’s always good to see such a political warrior back.


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