Íngrid Betancourt Pulecio (born 25 December 1961) is a Colombian politician, former senator and anti-corruption activist. She acquired French citizenship as a result of her first marriage to a French national.
Betancourt was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on 23 February 2002 and was rescued by Colombian security forces six and a half years later on 2 July 2008. The rescue operation, dubbed Operation Jaque, rescued Betancourt along with 14 other hostages (three Americans and eleven Colombian policemen and soldiers). In all, she was held captive for 2,321 days after being taken while campaigning for the Colombian presidency as a Green. She had decided to campaign in the former "zone of distention", after the military operation "Tanatos" was launched, and after the zone was declared free of guerrillas by the government. Her kidnapping received worldwide coverage, particularly in France, because of her dual French-Colombian citizenship.
She has received multiple international awards, such as the Légion d'honneur. In 2008 she received the Concord Prince of Asturias Award. She was also nominated to the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008. A book written also in 2008 by fellow hostages, 'Out of captivity' (Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell and Thomas Howes) paint a picture of a more complex and less heroic person. She has been reported for having obtained privileges because of her status as a well-known political hostage. Clara Rojas, another fellow hostage, is also bitter when referring to Betancourt. Those comments have been denied by other hostages (John Fran Pinchao, Jorge Eduardo Gechem, Gloria Polanco) who describe her as a person with a caring and courageous nature. One of them (Luis Eladio Perez) claims Betancourt saved his life. Between the three authors of 'Out of Captivity' there is evidence of strong controversies, which tend to undermine the attacks made against Betancourt.