He died while I was still chained to a tree in the middle of the jungle.”
A couple of weeks ago I got new hero. Or, to be more accurate, heroine. I was reading Even Silence Has an End (2010) by French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt (1961).
Ingrid Betancourt, running for president in Colombia in 2002, was kidnapped basically on the campaign trail, by the FARC (Colombian Armed Revolutionary Forces), a gerilla group with a lot of power in some parts of the country. For six years she was held captive in the jungle, and her book is basically a memoir over those years. While at times being one of those books you read while covering your eyes because you really can not take any more cruelty, it was aslo a book that impressed me with its wisdom and caring and humans ability to forgive, as well as portraying human cruelty and desperation. Ingrid Betancourt writes about young girls joining the FARC, because it is even that or prostitution, and she has an astounding ability to try to understand her enemies, and to see their point of view.
I won’t lie to you, this is a sometimes awful book, not because of how it is written, but because of some of the content. However, it’s a book that will teach you stuff you may need but may not want to know about the world. And it will stay with you for a long time, I’m sure of it.
PS: Ingrid Betancourt for president!