The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt
76 mins/ 2003/ US/ Dir. Victoria Bruce & Karin Hayes
In 2002, two filmmakers travelled to Colombia to document the campaign of controversial presidential candidate, Ingrid Betancourt. On Election Day, Ingrid never arrived.
Instead, Ingrid Betancourt appeared in the Plaza as a cardboard torso—carried in the arms of her husband, Juan Carlos Lecompte. As Juan Carlos and Ingrid’s mother, Yolanda Pulecio, pleaded with the Colombian people for solidarity, Ingrid spent Election Day deep in the Colombian jungle—a hostage of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and one of the thousands of victims of Colombia’s 40 year-old civil war.
In The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt, Ingrid Betancourt tells her own life story including how, since the beginning of her congressional election in 1994, she risked her life by denouncing Colombian politicians who have been linked to drug cartels. The film continues after the day she is kidnapped on February 23, 2002, and documents her family and her political party, thrown into upheaval, as they struggle to free her and to keep her presidential campaign alive.
In his hugely engaging book, What If Latin America Ruled the World?, Colombian writer Oscar Guardiola-Rivera sets the record straight about Latin America’s role in the world. He shows that, far from fitting its stereotype, a region of banana republics and utopias, the peoples of Latin America have risen and now stand together. Taking control of their own destinies and resources while distributing rewards, Latin Americans have resisted some of the worst consequences of the unfettered market policies that have wreaked havoc elsewhere. Oscar introduced the book to British audiences at the Hay Literary Festival – the most important of its kind in the United Kingdom – last 31 May. The qualified audience attending Hay gave the book a very warm welcome. All ‘preview’ copies of the book sold out in a day. BBC journalist and Hay Chairperson Ariane Koek says of Oscar’s appearance at the Festival: “I met a man on the train back to London who said ‘the best thing I heard at Hay which was truly inspirational, new and visionary was a lecture about What If Latin America Ruled the World?’ He had bought Oscar’s book and was ecstatic!” He will join culture critic Juan Toledo for a conversation on women in power and the future of the Americas and the world.
Hosted by Juan Toledo
London-based Colombian critic, editor and translator. He has worked for the British Council ‘Arts Division’ since 1990. He was editor in chief of Crónica Latina for 5 years, and subsequently edited Pulso Magazine for 2 years. Currently he is Arts Editor in Aculco Radio in South London (www.aculcoradio.com) where he produces and co -presents the programs Artefacto and Versos Van.
Watch this film alongside La Hija Del General as a DOUBLE BILL: WOMEN OF SOUTH AMERICA all afternoon on Sunday 27 June at the Tricycle.