Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle

Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle

by Ingrid Betancourt


$15.30 $17.00 Save 10% Current price is $15.3, Original price is $17. You Save 10%. View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, October 23


"Betancourt's riveting account...is an unforgettable epic of moral courage and human endurance." -Los Angeles Times

In the midst of her campaign for the Colombian presidency in 2002, Ingrid Betancourt traveled into a military-controlled region, where she was abducted by the FARC, a brutal terrorist guerrilla organization in conflict with the government. She would spend the next six and a half years captive in the depths of the Colombian jungle. Even Silence Has an End is her deeply moving and personal account of that time. The facts of her story are astounding, but it is Betancourt's indomitable spirit that drives this very special narrative-an intensely intelligent, thoughtful, and compassionate reflection on what it really means to be human.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143119982
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/30/2011
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 394,289
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Ingrid Betancourt was born on December 25, 1961, in Bogotá, Colombia. As a politican and presidential candidate, she was celebrated for her determination to combat widespread corruption in Colombia. She now lives in New York City and Paris, France.

Table of Contents

1 Escaping the Cage 1

2 Farewell 26

3 The Abduction 35

4 "El Mocho" Cesar 47

5 Sonia's Camp 57

6 The Death of my Father 73

7 Falling into the Abyss 78

8 Taming the Hornets 86

9 The Strains of Communal Life 101

10 Proof of Life 109

11 The Little Wooden House 114

12 Ferney 122

13 Learning to Weave 127

14 Melanie's Seventeenth Birthday 131

15 Resentment and Remission 135

16 The Raid 141

17 The Cage 150

18 Friends Who Come and Go 154

19 Voices from the Outside 159

20 A Visit from Joaquín Gómez 163

21 Second Proof of Life 171

22 The Fortune-Teller 176

23 An Unexpected Encounter 180

24 Giovanni's Camp 184

25 In the Hands of the Shadow 190

26 Sombra's Serenade 196

27 The Barbed Wire 199

28 The Satellite Antenna 206

29 Inside the Prison 209

30 The Arrival of the Americans 214

31 The Big Row 219

32 Roll Call 225

33 Human Misery 229

34 Lucho's Illness 233

35 A Sad Christmas 242

36 The Bickering 250

37 The Chicken Run 256

38 Back in the Prison 262

39 Radio Roundup 268

40 Gloria's Children 278

41 The Petty Things of Hell 281

42 The Dictionary 286

43 My Friend Lucho 289

44 The Child 293

45 The Strike 298

46 Birthdays 303

47 The Big Departure 307

48 Hepatitis 310

49 Guillermo's Frisk 315

50 Unexpected Support 318

51 The Hammock 323

52 Selling Hope 327

53 The Group of Ten 335

54 The Endless March 343

55 The Chains 351

56 The Honeymoon 354

57 At the Gates of Hell 361

58 Descent Into Hell 367

59 The Devil 372

60 Now or Never 377

61 The Escape 383

62 Freedom 395

63 The Choice 407

64 The End of the Dream 411

65 Punishment 416

66 The Retreat 421

67 The Eggs 426

68 Monster 429

69 Lucho's Heart 435

70 Pinchao's Escape 442

71 The Death of Pinchao 450

72 My Friend Marc 456

73 The Ban 463

74 The Letters 469

75 The Separation 475

76 Stroking Death 480

77 Third Proof of Life 489

78 Lucho's Release 495

79 The Disagreement 504

80 The Sacred Heart 511

81 The Trick 514

82 The End of Silence 523

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Even Silence Has an End 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 157 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While I find Ms. Betancourt's story at times captivating, I also find it to be long, drawn out, and factually questionable. As I read, I just kept getting this feeling that I didn't necessarily trust the author. As such, after completion of the book, I did more research and have read her fellow captives' stories. There is plenty of literature and media debating her account, which for me "put the finger" on that feeling I continually had reading her book. While I obviously am very interested in her story, I find what she leaves out of her book to be all the more interesting. Those facts aren't in the others per se, but the facts of her life are quite interesting and made only more so because she avoids and fails to mention them in this doctrine of her captivity, treatment and rescue.
TheReadingWriter More than 1 year ago
It is a towering achievement to have conceived and written a book like this after one's release, for as fellow captive Clara Rojas wrote in her memoir Captive, "going back isn't easy", even in one's mind, to remember and relive the period of captivity. However, the level of detail about one's daily life in the Amazon jungle is patently fascinating, even to those of us who have no intention of spending any time there. For an explorer, scientist, or government operative, this is required reading. Think me a fool, but that a public figure (Ingrid Betancourt, long-shot presidential candidate) could write a book of such power and clarity and filled with personal observations and motivations, reminded me of the only other memoir of similar power in recent memory written by another long-shot presidential candidate, Barak Obama Dreams from my Father. Equally riveting, though entirely of a different character, Even Silence has an End tells us much about the nature of the individual who could observe dispassionately (and sometimes passionately) in the face of complications difficult to imagine: terror, sickness, pain, and boredom. As I read I became aware of the sometimes poisonous relationships that developed among the hostages and between the hostages and their FARC captors. An earlier memoir I'd tried to read, Out of Captivity became immediately relevant, as each book references the authors of the other. As a result, I subsequently read Rojas' Captive, which reminded me of the mind-numbing boredom of my earlier attempt with Out of Captivity. The fight in Colombia between government forces and FARC rebels has always felt out of my realm, and those two books did not make make our worlds intersect in any significant way. Betancourt's book, however, brought that whole world right up close and personal, and I am there: involved, interested, engaged. Clearly Betancourt arouses strong emotions, both support and opposition, even as she did as a captive. But until the opposition can speak with such a clearly rational and obviously humane and--this is critical--a truly interesting voice, Betancourt's version of events is the one I will choose to remember.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ingrid Betancourt relays the daily terrors and unjustice she experianced from the hands of aggressive Guerilla force the FARC, after abducting her at gun point while being lead deeper into the Amazon. Ingrid gives vivid discription of the Amazons beauty amidst the evil FARCE and the dangerous creatures hidden in the beauty. You feel that you are taking each step with her. You cry with her when her mothers voice is heard pleading for her release ,you cheer for her when she escapes, you'll catch yourself holding your breath while she escapes! You are on the edge of your seat.Ingrid expresses her bravery,her humiliation from the cruelty & her neverending attempts to be free. All the while remaining true to herself. she has the spirit to be an overcommer. This book give you a great appreciation for for freedom, freedom of choice and the priveledge to be an American. I recommend reading UNTIL DEATH DO US APART, first to understand the love and passion she has for the Columbian people and why she was such a target to the FARC. God Bless Ingrid Betancourt for surviving!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down! Ingrid Betancourt endured so much as she was held captive in the jungle. Her escape attempts were nail biting and each time I hoped that she would find freedom. The book was written so well, you felt as if you were standing next to her. A memorable book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, because it was interesting to see how one survives in the jungle when one comes from a privileged life. Even though there is controversy with the Columbian government, the FARC & Ms. Betancourt, it was a good read. The only part at did not like was the ending, I wanted more information about how she is now coping in the real world & more information on the other survivors & the others still in capitivty.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't let the large amount of pages keep you from reading this book. You become so absorbed in the story that time goes quickly. The story was very well written and in no time you are in the rainforest-facing all the obstacles right along with those kidnapped. Amazing true story.
poldark More than 1 year ago
We are lucky in the US that our political candidates [at least so far] don't get murdered or kidnapped. This story follows an active presidential candidate in Columbia, and her hapless campaign aide, who were kidnapped and held prisoners for an incredible six years in the most dense Amazon jungle. Subjected to incredible deprivation of food, clothing, shelter, medicine, medical care, they still survived. Subjected to humiliation, beatings, chained at the neck and feet, they emerge as the victors. Eaten alive by bugs and disease, cohabiting with taruntulas, snakes and jungle beasts, they feared for their lives every day. The author is clear to point out that not everyone of their kidnappers was a monster, but most acted monstrously, under orders, or out of their own meaness and megalomania. In a land without government, these kinds of people take charge. Tea party people, be real careful what you wish for! And be careful when you set out to attack candidates houses and kids: look at who your role models are: the FARC, the Taliban, and their ilk. The FARC guerillas emerge as bankrupt: politically, morally, ideologically. With money from local cocaine lords, they have set themselves up in the back country, terrorizing the local population and the nation. They could never govern, but to gain publicity and notoriety, they kidnap a whole range of people, from politicians to 12 year old boys, to contractors, and treat them inhumanely. It is a huge eye opener on these rebels. One can only hope they fail asap and fade away. This is the 3rd in a trio of books about the people kidnapped. Under the horrible circumstances of their long incaceration, it is unlikely that people would perceive events the same way, or react the same way to the situation. This book stays true to trying to describe how a person finds the moral courage and determination not to become some oneelse, someone else filled with as much rage and hatred as the kidnappers themselves. It makes you wonder what you would do if you were there. There seems to be multiple vindinctive reviews against the author posted by the same malicious individual. I would not pay them any mind. If you are against the hostages, you have to be for the terrorists.
Rebaz More than 1 year ago
Regardless of the controversy about Ingrid. This is her story of survival, courage, endurance and faith. Dramatic yet full of strenght and hope. Must read
bakersfieldbarbara on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I will never again lightly look over a news report on hostages or captivity in any form after reading this book. Life is so taken for granted when not being tormented and punished by terrorists and Ms. Betancourt's description of her ordeal will never leave my mind as I recall her astounding story. She survived over 6 years in captivity and was able, with an indomitable spirit, survive to tell minute details of how it is to be captured, harassed, raped, and made to live like an animal. She told, again in full detail, how she tried to escape many times, and of the relationships formed with other captives. I am now able to understand the depth of the enemy, those who joined the FARC because of their own belief systems; young girls in this horrible army, giving up their world to help FARC punish others; young men, who gave up their futures, to join FARC for all of the wrong reasons. Just as Betancourt traveled into a military-controlled region as an advocate for peace because she believed in her mission, these abductors were just as strong in their beliefs. Betancourt shares her metamorphosis, revealing how in the daily rituals she established for herself, listening to her mother and children broadcast to her over the radio, the daily prayers, learning how to weave, moving from the pain of the moment to a place of serenity. This is a book that should be read by all people, to understand the hostility in those who capture and the life endured by those captured.
samanthafreeman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is not a cheery read. Six and a half long years in capticity told in a way that leaves you in awe of her abilty to remember the tiniest of details. I was moved by the book and am astounded that she was able to go through what she did and survive without going insane. It details her five escapes and the constant epic marches through the jungle as the FARC had to keep moving constanty to avoid the columbian military. It also details her relationships with her fellow hostages and her captors. I was moved by her strength, her honesty and her ablity to write about the ordeal in a poetic, spititual and philisophical way. A fascinating read on many levels. The book stays with you long after you have finished it. It is first and foremost an investigation in to human nature and the worst and best things we are capable of. In these most awful of circumstances freindships, loyalty and love persist and keep her from the depths of dispair.
RobinDawson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Six years of imprisonment in the jungles of the Amazon must have been a hideous experience - and it's inherently difficult to make an interesting story out of a long period of unrelieved hardship. Even harder to get through as I didn't think it was well written, and I also wondered whether the author wasn't presenting herself in a kind light.
BLBera on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Six years in captivity under conditions of severe hardship is hard to imagine. Betancourt portrays vividly both the physical and emotional toll exacted. The problems with this memoir are the conditions that she is describing; after a while, one forced march through the jungle seems like the previous one, and one sadistic commander blurs into the next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing anyone could survive all of that.
I_Heart_Books_ More than 1 year ago
'Even Silence Has an End' is a well written and (seemingly) honest account of life in the jungle as a hostage. It truly picks you up off your couch, throws you down in the middle of the jungle, and has you picturing yourself using the chontos (retch) and tromping through jungle for days on end...It is a haunting and gritty account that will leave you contemplating days later the horrors of living in the jungle under armed guard..... how/if you could survive... would you fight back and refuse to become a number? would you be brave enough to try and escape??
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the story of her life in captivity for seven years. She gives minute details of everyday life--unfortunately to the point where the book becomes boring and tedious. If she had cut 100 pages, the book would have been much better. Also, the focus was entirely on her captivity and gave very little information about what was taking place politically while she was in captivity.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book took you to the Amazon jungle and gave you a total picture of what life was like for the captured and even their captors. She weaved in political and social history without losing the reader's attention. So much of her story is a study on human survival. While some of the other survivors disagree with her account, this is not their story. Ingrid's experience is uniquely her own and the lessons i learned from this brave decision share her story are not easily forgotten.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These souls endured way too much cruelty for one person's eternity.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
had trouble feeling sorry for this character. came across as a diva who seemed to be treated fairly well considering her circumstances and her attitude only ended up angering her captures and fellow prisioners
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago