Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios
After her release, Ingrid was celebrated as a hero and awarded France's highest honor by President Nicolas Sarkozy...but some of Ingrid's fellow hostages saw things very differently. Keith Stansell and others alleged that Ingrid was arrogant and bossy in captivity and that she took more than her fair share of food. "Ingrid Betancourt, to me, is the most disgusting human being I've ever encountered in my life," Keith said in an interview.
Even Ingrid's former campaign manager, Clara Rojas, clashed with Ingrid in captivity. In her memoir, Clara wrote that Ingrid went "from being a role model to someone who represented death, becoming extremely apathetic and bitter."
In Vanity Fair magazine, fellow hostage Gloria Polanco expressed her feelings very bluntly, saying, "Let's not make symbols and icons out of women who aren't."
Ingrid says she can see the validity in their criticism. "I understand why they didn't like me, and honestly, I wasn't perfect," she says. "Of course, we're in that camp living together. Everything was nasty. No space. We were fighting for a tree where to hang our hammocks, stupid things. It was our life."