After six years being held hostage in the Colombian jungle, former Presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, along with fourteen other captives, was rescued by men disguised as Colombian leftist commandos. Betancourt had originally been taken hostage by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) - described by the Times as "a Marxist inspired insurgency," - when she was campaigning for President as the Green Party anti-corruption candidate in 2002. She has a storied past which includes time spent as a beauty queen and dual French and Colombian citizenship because of her first marriage to a diplomat. She wrote an autobiography, Storm in my Heart, which was a best-seller in France and according to the Telegraph, "some reviewers described her as a latter-day Joan of Arc, and her election campaign was followed closely in the [French] media."
In a letter written to her mother last November and sent to the captives' families to prove that they were still alive, Betancourt said, " "I have fought many battles, I have tried to escape on several opportunities, I have tried to maintain hope, as one does keeping head above water. But mamita, I have been defeated." Happily, Betancourt and others did eventually triumph with the help of brave Colombian agents and Israeli tracking technology. Though Betancourt "never expected to get out of there alive," she's now recuperating at a Colombian military base, and her two grown children are en route from France to see their mother once again.