Ingrid Betancourt, a senator and a presidential candidate in Colombia, grew up among diplomats, literati, and artists who congregated at her parents' elegant home in Paris, France. Her father served as Colombia's ambassador to UNESCO and her mother, a political activist, continued her work on behalf of the country's countless children whose lives were being destroyed by extreme poverty and institutional neglect. Intellectually, Ingrid was influenced by Pablo Neruda and other Latin American writers like Gabriel García Márquez, who frequented her parents' social circle. She studied at École de Sciences Politiques de Paris, a prestigious academy in France.
From this charmed life, Ingrid Betancourt -- not yet thirty, happily married to a French diplomat, and a mother of two children -- returned to her native country in the late 1980s. On what was initially just a visit, she found her country under internal siege from the drug cartels and the corrupt government that had allowed them to flourish. After seeing what had become of Colombia's democracy, she didn't feel she could leave.
Until Death Do Us Part is the deeply personal story of a woman who gave up a life of comfort and safety to become a political leader in a country being slowly demolished by terrorism, violence, fear, and a pervasive sense of hopelessness. It is a country where democracy has been sacrificed for the well-being of the few, where international criminals determine policy, and where political assassinations are a way of life. Now forty, Ingrid Betancourt has been elected and reelected as a representative and as a senator in Colombia's national legislature. She has founded a political party that has openly confronted Colombia's leaders and has earned the respect of a nation. And now she has become a target of the establishment and the drug cartels behind it.
Forced to move her children out of Colombia for protection against death threats, Ingrid Betancourt remained and continued to fight the political structure that has crumbled under the destructive power of the paramilitary forces, the financial omnipotence of the drug cartels, and the passivity of governmentfor-sale. Here is a political cocktail that has destroyed countless lives in Colombia and has spread to countries beyond its borders.
A memoir of a life in politics that reads like a fastpaced political thriller, Until Death Do Us Part -- already an international bestseller -- is a hair-raising account of one woman's fight against the establishment. It is a story of a woman whose love for her country and faith in democracy gave her the courage to stand up to the power that has subjugated, intimidated, or corrupted all those who opposed it. A chilling account of the dangerous, byzantine machine that runs Colombia, it is also an inspiring story of privilege, sacrifice, and true patriotism.
In a memoir that sometimes conveys the excitement of a Clancy thriller, Betancourt recounts her remarkable life, from the Paris of her childhood (her father was Colombia's minister of education and ambassador to UNESCO) to present-day Colombia, where she has served as a senator in Bogot and where she plans to launch her 2002 presidential campaign. That is, if she isn't assassinated first. Betancourt announces early on that she is no ordinary politician and that her reminiscences will comprise no ordinary political memoir. But what constitutes exceptional in Colombia, a country awash in political corruption and controlled by a government that is under the thumb of organized crime and vulnerable to the financial lure of illegal drug trafficking? Well, for starters, Betancourt spent her first campaign, for a seat in the House of Representatives, standing along the city's busiest streets, handing out condoms ("ur poster: my photo alongside a picture of a condom, with this slogan: 'The best to protect us against corruption.' " She scandalized her parents, her friends, her country, but won her seat in the House. So began Betancourt's campaign against electoral fraud and narcopoliticians, which, despite the death threats and the pressure exerted on her family, continues to this day and which won't end, as her title implies, until she wins or is killed for her efforts. Betancourt's memoir is intelligently written, if occasionally sentimental, and she passionately and clearly describes the consequences of corruption and the dangers of combating it.
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Until death do us apart
Interesting story of a Colombia'n hero,I was hoping that she had written about her time in captivity by those animals the FARC but nevertheless in a very good book, I was not surprised by the amount of corruption described by Ingrid, sadly this still is a reality in Colombia. Well done Ingrid, may the good Lord bless you and your family always.
Until death du us part
Very interesting account of Colombian politics.