The July 2nd rescue of French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and U.S. mercenaries employed by the Northrop Grumman Corp. was heralded as a dramatic victory over the anti-imperial FARC guerrilla forces in Colombia. The real story may be significantly less daring. The mainstream media’s heroic rescue narrative is being contradicted by claims that a $20-million ransom payment was made.

Some links in the article are to Spanish-language sources.


On June 3rd, Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba revealed that she possessed information that the government of Colombia was negotiating a deal with FARC to trade money for the release of Betancourt and the mercenaries.

… [I]nformation began to be revealed that, in reality, the government of Colombia had secretly paid $20 million USD to FARC in exchange for the release of Betancourt and the US mercenaries, confirming what Senator Cordoba had said a month before. This story was broken by MediaPart in France and Radio Suisse Romande. MediaPart also reported that France and Colombia guaranteed safe asylum for some members of FARC as part of the deal.

The report of the $20 million pay-off is now rapidly circulating throughout the corporate media as it struggles with a way to spin this news. The confusion caused by this bizarre operation makes a lot more sense when viewed as a pre-arranged, money-for-prisoners exchange. And, the true face of the Latin American right-wing is once again exposed.

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