Ingrid Betancourt
PAGE 7
The day Ingrid and her 14 fellow hostages were finally rescued reads like fiction. For months leading up to this day in July 2008, members of the Colombian military posed as FARC terrorist commanders and hacked into the guerrillas' radio exchanges. These special forces soldiers also took acting lessons so they could pass as aid workers in charge of transporting the group.

Using the FARC radio transmissions, the soldiers ordered Ingrid's captors to transport her and the 14 other hostages to another camp, where they would supposedly meet the new rebel leader.

The hostages were handcuffed and loaded onto a helicopter while dozens of armed guerrillas stood by and watched. None of the hostages were in on the plan, and Ingrid says she believed she was being taken to another location where she would be held for many more years.

Once they were in the air, special forces soldiers announced to Ingrid and the 14 other hostages that they were finally free. "I didn't understand what was happening," Ingrid says. "Then one of the guys, he took off his cap, he threw it in the air, and he said: 'We are the Colombian Army. You are free!'"

Watch the daring rescue mission Watch  

While flying over the dense jungle, Ingrid says the sudden shock of freedom was a scary feeling. "It was very frightening because there was no preparation for that," she says. "It was that kind of very strong, strong release of energy. We were all shouting, crying."

FROM: Exclusive: The Bravest Mom in the World Set Free: Ingrid Betancourt
Published on September 22, 2010

NEXT STORY

Next Story

Comment

LONG FORM
ONE WORD