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Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle [Kindle Edition]

Ingrid Betancourt
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Ingrid Betancourt’s story - her exemplary courage, spirit and resilience - has captured the world’s imagination. A politician and presidential candidate celebrated for her determination to combat the corruption and climate of fear endemic in Colombia, in 2002 she was taken hostage by FARC, a terrorist guerrilla organisation. She was held captive in the depths of the jungle for six and a half years, chained day and night for much of that time, constantly on the move and enduring gruelling conditions. She was freed and reunited with her children and relatives in 2008.

It is Betancourt’s indomitable spirit that drives this important and deeply moving book, telling in her own words the extraordinary drama of her capture and eventual rescue, and describes her fight to survive, mentally and physically. As she confronts the horror of what she went through, her story also goes beyond the specifics of her own confinement to offer an intensely intelligent, thoughtful and compassionate reflection on what it means to be human.

Product Description

Book Description

* Ingrid Betancourt's astonishing, powerful and deeply moving account of her six-year ordeal in the Colombian jungle as a hostage of the terrorist organisation FARC

About the Author

Ingrid Betancourt lived in France and New Zealand before returning to Colombia to campaign for the presidency, when she was kidnapped.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Broken Silence 6 Oct. 2010
By Annie
When Ingrid Betancourt was kidnapped by the Colombian guerrilla organisation, FARC, her life was put on hold. Robbed of her freedom, taken from her family and friends, her political career obliterated, Betancourt could be forgiven for feeling she had lost everything. Her treatment was horrific: she was beaten, ridiculed, confined to silence. After her fifth escape attempt, she was chained to a tree by her neck. Throughout this book one gets a palpable sense of her suffering, but she successfully and refreshingly avoids a self-pitying tone. Rather, this is a remarkable and inspirational tale of survival.

In fact, though the objective observer might view Betancourt as a victim, the overwhelming message of the book is one of triumph, of a victory for humanity over inhumanity. When guards began calling the prisoners by numbers rather than names, Betancourt protested. For her it was a question of basic human boundaries, an issue of compassion and empathy. If the prisoners were no longer considered as individuals, those boundaries would be broken. As Betancourt puts it herself: "I had just lost my freedom, but I was not willing to surrender my identity."

Unlike many contemporary memoirs it is exceptionally well written. There are moments of profound beauty in the prose, perhaps made all the more poignant by the brutality against which they are juxtaposed. "In the total darkness of its privation, the ground would be lit with thousands of fluorescent stars, as if the sky had been scattered on the ground", she writes at one point.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is a marvellous achievement and a wonderful read, as good as anything else I've read this year.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
If I hadn't known, whilst reading this, that Ingrid Betancourt was rescued after 6 1/2 years, I would have found this book too upsetting to read. But this is a story of a victory and of survival against all odds. It is about discovering how human relationships work, how there is good in everyone, and how we all let ourselves down by our attitudes and behaviour at times. The book shows how Ingrid discovers inner strength and calmness, and also a sense of pride in realising that her captors could not take away from her the freedom to choose the kind of person she wants to be. I gather that there are 2 other books written by fellow hostages with whom she had challenging relationships, Clara Rojas and Marc Gonsalves. I'm glad I've read this one first, not least after reading in an interview on the internet Ingrid's dignified response when she was asked about criticism of her written in one of the other books. This is a wonderful, poignant book which I'd thoroughly recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read book 18 Dec. 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Wonderful woman, superbly written book. If you dont know much about Ingrid and the story of her life i would recommend you doing so before reading the book. Just watch a couple of the interviews on You Tube and you will desperately want to read the book. You certainly wont regret buying it.
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By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER
Ingrid Betancourt was born in Bogota, Colombia in 1961, and was raised in France. In 1991 Ms Betancourt returned to Colombia, and held a variety of government positions before deciding, in 2001, to run for the presidency of Colombia in the election scheduled for 2002. It was during her presidential campaign, on 23 February 2002, that Ms Betancourt was captured by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a terrorist organization. While the FARC's objective was to exchange Ms Betancourt and other hostages for members of their organization being held by the Colombian government, Ms Betancourt remained a prisoner until being rescued on 2 July 2008.

`There are things that are more important than life.'

`Even Silence Has an End' is Ms Betancourt's account of her captivity and survival. Ms Betancourt's experiences, and those of the other hostages, are almost unimaginable. Ms Betancourt spent almost 6 and a half years imprisoned deep in the Colombian jungle, frequently moving from one location to another and living in filthy conditions. Ms Betancourt escaped several times, but was recaptured each time and punished. She faced malnutrition and illness, was abused by her captors and, at times, was literally kept in chains.

`When you're chained by the neck to a tree and deprived of everything ... Well, it took me several years to realize, but you still have the most important freedom of all: that is, the freedom to choose what kind of person you want to be.'

I read this book after hearing an interview with Ingrid Betancourt in Australia recently. My knowledge of the history and politics of Colombia is comparatively limited, and I hoped to learn more as a consequence of reading Ms Betancourt's book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story 14 Jan. 2012
This is an incredible story. Ingrid Betancourt went through some awful things and by the time she was rescued, she had lost all hope. She had begun to believe she would never be released. I'm not sure that most of us could get through it, but she is a strong character and obviously has (and had) a very strong sense of herself. That was necessary for her survival I think, but it's clear from her book that in any given situation or challenge in captivity, she believes that she was the wisest, the most dignified, the most compassionate, the most noble, the most intelligent and so on and so on. I don't grudge her her high opinion of herself given what she's been through, but I can also understand how some of her fellow captives found it hard to live so closely with her. Saying that, she could see the good sides of some of her captors. It leaves me with a huge admiration for her for getting through her experiences, but I also want to read Clara Roja's book at some point.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars really enjoyed this book but......
I ordered this book weeks ago and accidentally deleted it before i had finished it. I have now had to pay again to restore it. Is it possible to have a refund on this order?
Published 9 months ago by elaine
5.0 out of 5 stars So well written
The thing about this book that is so striking is how well written it is. It describes situations of utmost horror with such beautiful language that it gives the whole read such a... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Snowtara
5.0 out of 5 stars A very brave woman.
How that poor woman survived for six years in the jungle, I don't know! A very good book. Buy it.
Published 13 months ago by D T Carr
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising book
Couldn't put it down. Highly recommend to all. Not the sort of book I normally read, so really happy. Great
Published 16 months ago by juliet horgan
4.0 out of 5 stars Dignity
Ingrid said that her father told her to always act with dignity, and she remembered this all through her captivity. I found her story amazing. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
Book arrived on time & in good condition. This book was gripping I couldn't put it down a great story of a woman's courage.
Published 20 months ago by Airforce18
4.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable inhumanity in a modern world
Could not put this book down. It's real. It's heartbreaking and its an incredible journey into the inner self when challenged by the most despicable forces of human nature.
Published on 18 Feb. 2013 by Caz Of Cornwall
5.0 out of 5 stars incredible story of survival by a remarkable person..and well written!
I was living and working in rural Colombia when Ingrid Betancourt was kidnapped by the FARC guerrillas, and at the time no-one really cared... Read more
Published on 7 Jan. 2013 by StepHen
5.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable read
Although the story on occasion did seem to approach monotony overall this was enjoyable read and I would not hesitate to recommend to others. Read more
Published on 4 Dec. 2012 by Lelantos
5.0 out of 5 stars captivating
Really interesting book, facinating and moving, well descripted of human behavior in dealing with such a terrible situation. Read more
Published on 28 Jun. 2011 by stenchbeast
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