The tape was reportedly made by two Colombian intelligence agents posing as television journalists during a supposed transfer of the hostages to a new place of imprisonment, The New York Times reported. Colombian officials say agents posed as members of the FARC, tricking their guards.
At a news conference, Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said that only Colombian agents were involved in the operation. But he said that a U.S. surveillance plane assisted.
There has been speculation that U.S. and Israeli agents took part. A Swiss radio station reported a claim that the hostages were actually freed in return for a $20 million payment.
The videotape showed Betancourt and three U.S. contractors being handcuffed by their guards. It also shows them on the helicopter once they learned they were actually free.