The Colombian government and Ingrid Betancourt have strongly rejecting media claims that a ransom was paid to secure her release from FARC rebels. A video flmed by Colombian agents shows the moment of escape for Betancourt and 14 other hostages. Her captors were duped into thinking the undercover soldiers were members of an international NGO taking them to another FARC hideout.
Colombian officials have denied a report that Israel played a role in the operation. Speaking in Paris Betancourt said the reaction of the two FARC guards who overpowered inside the helicopter showed no money was handed over. She said they looked ashamed to have been captured and afraid. “I don’t think anyone who had just received a ransom would have had an expression like that,” she added.
The French/Colombian politician was flown to France on Friday after her dramatic escape on Wednesday. She is now undergoing medical tests in a Paris hospital to see what impact her six years in captivity in the jungle have had on her health. As recently as November she was rumoured to be near death.