Original Proposal - Even Silence Has An End by Ingrid Betencourt - Sep 14th

Silence Has An End by Ingrid Betancourt -- available from barnesandnoble.com for $16.64 + shipping.

It is highly recommended not only by Yours Truly who heard Ingrid speak last fall in SLC, but also by Ted and Tucker Gurney (our two retired U/U-Biology-Professor members) who also guarantee that you will find it a real page turner.

Ingrid's book describes her 6.5 years of captivity in Columbia after being kidnapped while running for President of Columbia in 2002 as the representative of the poor and dispossessed -- both of her parents had also represented the poor and dispossessed (her father had been a Minister in several Colombian governments before serving as Assistant Director of UNESCO which has a worldwide focus and then as Head of the Education Commission of U.S. President Kennedy's Alliance for Progress which focused on all of Latin America; Ingrid's mother is a former beauty queen who represented Bogota's poor and dispossessed in the Colombian Congress as a Senator).

Ingrid started a new political party (the Green Oxygen Party) to represent the poor and dispossessed -- it also opposed corruption and the drug cartels which had driven more than 4 million peasants off the land to live in poverty in Colombia's cities.

It would appear that Ingrid's capture by a drug cartel was engineered by the government since it feared she was about to be elected President (just like the Pakistani Government suddenly withdrew security in a notoriously-dangerous area during Benizir Bhutto's 2007 political campaign as the favorite to head the national government resulting in her assassination, the Colombian Government did the same to Ingrid resulting in her capture and imprisonment for 6.5 years).

It took the Colombian Government only a few days to rescue her once they decided after 6.5 years to do so -- Ingrid has dual French and Colombian citizenship (her education is French and she married another student who was French), as a result of which French President Sarkozy, upon assuming office, launched a diplomatic campaign to free her and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez used President Sarkozy's campaign as a reason for massing troops on the border with Colombia (the Colombian Government quickly freed Ingrid before Venezuela could invade!!!).

After 6.5 years of captivity, Ingrid has no stomach for further politics or for living in Colombia, but immensely invaluable are her insights into Latin American politics, U.S. relations with Latin America, the operations of drug cartels and how the international community should act vis-à-vis hostages.
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