August 2nd, 2008

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Ingrid Betancourt – Woede in het hart




Ingrid Betancourt – Woede in het hart (08-042)

Sometimes you pick a book from the shelf and you don’t know why. I had bought this book a couple of years ago. I must have bought a few dozen books since; always some book had come first when I considered reading it. Then, last June, I decided that it couldn’t wait any longer, I had to read her autobiography.

I started reading it during a trip, back home I had some other books unfinished and this book, half read, was waiting again. Exactly the day I continued reading it, I remember well, it was about quarter to nine in the evening, I read the notice that she had been released. For years she was kept hostage somewhere in the middle of the jungle in Columbia and just while I am reading her book, she was released.

Obviously she wrote the book before becoming a presidential candidate, but it describes very well her youth and her start in politics. Her story is one for a Hollywood movie. Growing up as a rich child, her parents both in politics, the girl becomes a politician. On her own against the rest. Big bad world against pretty young lady. Honesty against corruption.

It is impressive to see how she managed to get into parliament. I am also impressed with her dedication and perseverance. Yet, however beautiful she is, how much I do agree with her idea’s, after reading the book, she doesn’t become a warm person in my mind. Exactly the thing she apparently is, according to many. The warmth most Latin people I have met, have in abundance. Yet, when you choose an uncertain future in politics over your marriage, there is something wrong. When on several occasions your own children need to flee in the middle of the night, because the whole family is at risk, continuing the fight is brave, but not very understandable.

As everyone else I am very happy she has found liberty again after seven years without freedom. Having read how dedicated she is, I am fairly sure that regardless what happened, Betancourt will return to politics. Given what happened, it would surprise me if she doesn’t get elected president within the next decade. Then we’ll see if she is really capable of turning things around in a country that has suffered so much. Until then, I am looking forward on her complete story of the kidnapping, which she will, no doubt, write about as well.

Quote: “Four years have past since our separation, since I left Los Angeles. I took the risk of throwing my private life to shambles trying to regain my identity as a Colombian. Colombia has opened his arms wide open for me and those close to me have approached me, somewhat surprised about what is happening to me, though loving, faithful and helpful.” (Page 106)

Number: 08-042
Title: Woede in het hart (Orig.: La rage au Coeur)
Author: Ingrid Betancourt
Language: Dutch (Orig.: French)
Year: 2001
# Pages: 255 (8196)
Category: Autobiography / Politics
ISBN: 90-5831-265-8