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FARC Rescue

After FARC Rescue One Says End Hate, One Says "Terrorist"

After the stunning rescue last week of 15 hostages held by FARC rebels in Colombia, Ingrid Betancourt — the most well-known of those rescued after being held hostage for six years — has urged the end of a vocabulary of hate against her former captors.

She says:

I think we have reached a point where we must change this radical, extremist vocabulary of hate of very strong words that intimately wound the human being.

Though her sympathy for her captors sounds a little Stockholm Syndrome-y, she says she has no illusions as to the true nature of the group, but that a honey trap of kindness would be a better way to ensure more hostage releases.

And there are many more to be released from the group one American is calling "terrorist." To see the extent of the situation,


Despite the high-profile rescue last week, the 14 saved are the tiniest portion of those being held. It's thought that at least 700 to 2,000 Colombians remain in the custody of the rebels, and the rescue has destabilized the group — whose main source of income is ransom money — endangering those left. One mother whose son was abducted ten years ago, feels the sting stronger now that rescues have been shown possible. She says, “I know my son isn’t a trophy, but I demand to have him back.”

In the US, the three Americans rescued echo that concern. Marc Gonsalves, one of those saved, says, “there are people in this exact moment who are being punished because we got rescued successfully.” He went on to call FARC "a terrorist group with a capital T." The three men are said to be in good health despite their concerns including Keith Stansell who has 5-year-old twin sons that he's just met.

Which is a better method to negotiate for the release of the hundreds of hostages left? Honey, or force? Was the rescue mission a good move given the number still held? How will they be rescued now that the "trick them" hand has been played?


Join The Conversation
Arthur Arthur 8 years
So my question for rac and ingrid: what do you call an organization the systematically uses kidnapping and ransome to finance their political aims?
stephley stephley 8 years
Stockholm syndrome and terrorist both are overused. I wondered the day this group was freed what effect releasing all the rescue details would have.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Unfortunately, the word "terrorist" is now bandied about to manipulate people. Sad. As for the rest of the hostages, it definitely is terrible to think what may be happening to them now.
LadyAngel89 LadyAngel89 8 years
I'm very glad that a few hostages were rescued. It's better than none as far as I'm concerned. But to think about those numerous others that are still captive it breaks my heart, each attempt will do nothing but get harder and have more casualties. The word terrorist to me have become very empty. It's thrown around entirely too much and I'd say in some cases very slanderous. There are bad people in the world, but we're becoming extremists ourselves I fear.
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
Nyar, so true. Some time ago someone in my office threatened to take the bathroom key to the men's room and they were called a "toilet terrorist". And it wasn't ironic.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 8 years
2000 people? That's amazing but it amazes me how in the last 7 years the word terrorist has become such apart of our vocabulary, almost anything can be defined as an act of terrorism, well not almost anything, but it's bandied about all the time.
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
I never thought about that. I definitely wouldn't want to be one of the hostages left behind when they heard they'd been duped.
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