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

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Overview

A Bolt of Lightning tore through the forest, landing a few yards from me. In a burst of light, the space around me was revealed in all its horror. I was surrounded by gigantic trees, and was only two steps from falling into a ravine. I stopped short, totally blinded. I squatted to catch my breath among the roots of the tree just before me. I was on the verge of finally taking out my flashlight when I noticed intermittent flashes of light in the distance, headed my way. I could hear their voices now. They must be very near, because I heard one of them shout that he had already seen me. I camouflaged myself among the roots of the old tree while praying to the Lord to make me invisible.

I followed their progress from the swinging of their beams of light. One of them aimed his beam at me. I closed my eyes, unmoving, waiting for their shouts of victory before they seized me. But the light left me, came back for an instant, then went away for good, leaving me in silence and darkness.

I got up, still trembling, leaning against the hundred-year-old-tree to recover my wits. ... From memory, I cleared a path where I thought I'd seen a passage between two trees while I waited for the next flash of lightning to free me from my blindness. The guerrillas were gone.

My relationship with the night world began to change. It was easier to move ahead, my hands reacted faster, and my body was learning to anticipate the lay of the land. The sensation of horror was beginning to fade. My surroundings were no longer totally hostile. I began to think of these trees, these palms, these ferns, this intrusive undergrowth as a possible refuge. The fact of being soaked, bleeding from my hands and fingers, covered with mud and not knowing where to go-all of this lost its importance. I could survive. I had to walk, keep moving, get away. At dawn they would resume the chase. But with every step, I kept repeating I am free, and my voice kept me company.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781449840990
Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date: 09/21/2010

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

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