Betancourt Bares 'Soul Hell' of Captivity

Death was her 'constant companion' in 6-year ordeal
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2008 6:09 AM CDT
Ingrid Betancourt smiles before her radio address to hostages in Spanish on RFI (Radio France International), Monday July 7, 2008 in Paris.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Freed hostage Ingrid Betancourt lived in "soul hell" for years in captivity under a constant threat of death, she said in a riveting interview on CNN's Larry King Live. "I lived for nearly seven years with the awareness that death was my everyday companion," she said. "It was hell. It was hell for the body, it was hell for the soul, it was hell for the mind."

Betancourt declined to say whether she had been sexually abused by the Colombian guerrillas who captured her. "I think that many things that happened in the jungle we have to leave in the jungle," she said. Betancourt told King she exploded with joy when she realized a helicopter was taking her to freedom. She now plans to devote her efforts to freeing those still in rebel hands.