Thursday, July 03, 2008

Free at last…

As some of you know, this bitch is an avid consumer of documentary films. So, when news broke the other day that related to two fantastic documentary films it didn’t take long for me to make the connection.

Former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and three American hostages were freed from their captivity with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) the other day. American media outlets immediately began to position this in the same light as other triumphant hostage release stories, but neither Betancourt nor the Americans' stories fit that script.

Betancourt’s amazing political career and terrifying capture by FARC forces is documented in the film The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt. Betancourt’s anti-corruption campaign and election day kidnapping in the face of her probable victory may have been connected to the very government she was running to clean up. It would not have been the first time the Colombian government conspired with the FARC for political gain. I'm not saying this shit isn’t what it appears to be...a successful military operation by Colombian forces that liberated four hostages...but this bitch plans to blink more than once before tossing any confetti at the Colombian government.

Cough.

The release of the three American hostages (Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell and Thomas Howes) should also receive further examination. In fact their story, which was documented in the documentary Held Hostage in Columbia, scares the hell out of this bitch because it speaks to possible covert drama resulting in the multi-year captivity of American citizens which was treated with indifference by the very government they were working for. I watched this documentary three times…it was that captivating and that alarming.

Americans working for California Microwave Systems (a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman) are shot down and taken captive by the FARC. Soon after the crash, the contract they were fulfilling was awarded to another company (CIAO) which may or may not have been a CIA front…the FARC sure as shit thought it was. So these three men were then left in limbo…the American government acted like they weren’t even there and, if they were there, they weren't our government's problem...the company they used to work for did the same, the Colombian government weighed their situation against the potential benefits of appeasing the FARC and three American families faced years of inaction and not-knowingness. The documentarians were able to get amazing access to the FARC and the hostages…the interviews are amazing and full of anxiety.

Now that these four people are free, this bitch highly recommends looking back at how their captivity unfolded…how both the Colombian governments and American governments responded…and what, other than the glorious and emotional reunions, we can take away from these incidents.

4 comments:

catnmus said...

I'm still waiting/cringing for the talk of "Gee, you know who's in Colombia right now? John McCain. I wonder if HE is responsible for freeing the hostages? He probably is! Let's elect him president!"

Yankee, Transferred said...

I love documentaries, too. I'll snag these. Thanks for the tip.

Anonymous said...

This only leads to sadness because it makes me think of the people being held at Guantanamo

Housecatz said...

I did not know all this. Thanks for the info! I'll try to watch for these movies...