Betancourt Hails Release as a 'Miracle'

Freed hostage praises 'perfect' operation, still wants to be president
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2008 9:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – For Ingrid Betancourt, the French-Colombian politician freed after more than 6 years in captivity, her release yesterday was a “miracle.” Colombian soldiers, posing as NGO officials, tricked FARC rebels and rescued Betancourt and 14 other hostages without gunfire. “There is no historical precedent for such a perfect operation,” said Betancourt, whose liberation deals a major blow to FARC, the BBC says.

The soldiers infiltrated FARC’s ranks and whisked the hostages into a helicopter, which “almost fell from the sky because we all jumped, shouted, cried and embraced,” Betancourt recalled. She thanked Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, with whom she’d been competing for the presidency when she was kidnapped, adding, “I continue to aspire to serve Colombia as president.”