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If we were lucky, we would be able to hang a hammock and stay in the hammock for the day under a mosquito net, but we could also be forced to just sleep on the floor on a plastic sheet.”As a member of Colombia’s elite, with dual French citizenship, Betancourt says, she was often treated with special harshness.”First, because I was a politician and no one likes politicians, especially the guerillas,” she said.“And whenever I tried to explain to them that I was fighting to change the system, they would turn and say, ‘Politicians always say the same.’ And they were right.
At times hostages were released in prisoner exchanges or for humanitarian reasons.The guerillas regularly filmed them all, to prove to the outside world that they were alive and thus still useful for ransom or as bargaining chips.Betancourt tried to escape five times, but each time was recaptured – and subjected to new punishment.”You know you are in extreme situations, you cope with it as much as you can,” she said.But ridding Colombia of FARC is only the beginning, Betancourt said.
“The first thing we have to fight in Colombia is corruption. The families feared the prosecution might have pushed FARC to retaliate against their loved ones.