Look who’s being exposed as haughty and self-absorbed after she was hailed as a “jungle heroine”? It’s French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt.
Her fellow hostages are disputing her accounts of their captivity in the Colombian jungle.
Clara Rojas vs. Ingrid Betancourt:
Now Clara Rojas, a friend and colleague seized with Ms Betancourt in 2002, has joined in with further disclosures expected in a forthcoming book.
“I thought she was my friend, but she has demonstrated to me that she wasn’t so much,” Ms Rojas said in a trenchant interview with the Spanish edition of Vanity Fair published this week.
In the report, entitled False Appearances, Ms Rojas, a Colombian lawyer, rejects as fiction the story advanced by Ms Betancourt as to how they came to share captivity. She was not Ms Betancourt’s vice-presidential candidate, Ms Rojas said, nor did she volunteer herself as a hostage. She had accompanied Ms Betancourt to San Vicente del Caguán, where they were captured in February 2002, “out of friendship”.
When the Farc guerrillas who intercepted them said they were taking Ms Betancourt, Ms Rojas asked what would happen to her. Her inquiry so offended them that they took her as well, she said. “I had a generous attitude and because of this I expected something different from Ingrid, but it wasn’t so.”
She also spoke of Ms Betancourt’s distant behaviour in the jungle, particularly after Ms Rojas became pregnant by one of her captors.
The book by Ms Rojas is expected to be equally damning of Ms Betancourt. The birth of Ms Rojas’s son Emmanuel in 2004 is a particular source of tension. Ms Betancourt claimed in an interview with Larry King that she stopped Ms Rojas from drowning her baby in a jungle river — an allegation that is denied.
Keith Stanstell vs. Betancourt:
Another of Ms Betancourt’s fellow hostages, Keith Stanstell, claims that she was haughty and self-absorbed, stole food, hoarded books and refused to share information that she was getting from a radio she had obtained. She even put their lives in danger by telling rebel guards they were CIA agents, he said. “I watched her try to take over the camp with an arrogance that was out of control,” he said this week. “Some of the guards treated us better than she did.”
Source: Times Online