Fellow Hostages Rip Betancourt

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2009 8:46 PM CST
Former hostages, from left, Tom Howes, Marc Gonsalves and Keith Stansell pose for a portrait, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009, in New York.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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(Newser) – Three Americans freed in a daring hostage rescue in Colombia last year were thrilled to  escape their FARC captors—and nearly as happy to be free of fellow hostage Ingrid Betancourt. In a new book, the Americans portray Betancourt as a self-centered and malicious prima donna, the New York Times reports. “I don’t want to attack her, but the truth is very savage," said one, Keith Stansell.

The book is at odds with Betancourt's reputation as a noble captive. She hoarded food, clothes, and writing materials, refused to divulge radio information, and generally considered herself above the other hostages, the book says. She also tried to convince FARC that the Americans were CIA agents—they weren't—who should be kept separate, the men claim in Out of Captivity. Several other books have aired similar complaints about Betancourt, who's now in France.