A day after being freed from more than six years of captivity in the Colombian jungle, Ingrid Betancourt has been reunited with her children (photo, from huffingtonpost.com).
She was among 15 hostages rescued by Colombian military, without a shot being fired, as their rebel captors were tricked into handing them over.
Soon after the news of her release has been known, her children travelled from France to Bogota, for the emotional reunion.
Now, Ms Betancourt said she would work tirelessly for the freedom of all hostages being held Farc rebels.
“It is most important that every Colombian feels that we will free them – that our brothers in the jungle will return”, she said.
For four decades, the Farc, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, have been waging a war of independence. The group still holds 40 high-profile hostages, among to 700 other captives.
Ms Betancourt raced up the steps of the aircraft to embrace her daughter, Melanie, and her son, Lorenzo Delloye-Betancourt.
She had earlier hailed Wednesday’s mission, that freed her and 14 fellow hostages, as a “perfect operation”.
“There is no historical precedent for such a perfect operation”, she said.
Posing as members of non-government organisation, colombian soldiers had flown the hostages to freedom in a helicopter.
Ms Betancourt said that “the helicopter almost fell from the sky because we all jumped, shouted, cried and embraced” when the head of the operation told the hostages the they were free.
“We couldn’t believe it”, the 46-year-old added.
Three Americans and 11 members of the Colombian security forces have also been released in the operation, and all are said to be in relatively good health.