Colombia announced today that it has rescued 15 hostages held by the country's notorious FARC guerillas, including former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt. The rescued group also includes three American military contractors who were seized when their plane went down in FARC territory during an antinarcotics mission.
Fans of Betancourt worldwide are thrilled. A dual citizen of Colombia and France, she became a venerated figure during her six-year captivity, her frail figure and willfull words focusing the world's attention on a hostage crisis in a remote part of the Andes. Yet the celebration is bittersweet. As Betancourt and 14 others go free, largely because of their status as "bargaining chips" used by the FARC to gain political concessions, hundreds of others reportedly remain behind in the guerrilla group's hands.