Latest Reading: “Out of Captivity: Surviving 1,967 Days in the Colombian Jungle”

The book tells the stories of three Americans who were kidnapped by Marxist Guerrillas in the Colombian jungles for over 5 years. The three men were private contractors, monitoring the cocaine production by flying over southern Colombia. On one of their flights, they had to emergency land their plane and were quickly taken hostage by the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) the biggest insurgent army in Colombia. They were eventually rescued in a clever plot by the Colombian army.

Their Plane Lands in Bogota

The book has special meaning to me as I lived in Colombia for five years and know the country well. I even had a brush with the FARC when travelling through the Darien Gap which I’ll tell about someday in my memoirs. It read like a prison novel, describing their routines and adventures in captivity. It is sad that over 2000 ordinary Colombians are still being held by the FARC. The toll on the families must be devastating. Two of the three Americans’ marriages broke up over their long captivity.

I have experienced the huge inequalities in Colombian society and understand why groups like FARC exist. The upper class really needs to consider the majority of the population and give all Colombians decent lives. The country has made great progress in the past 10 years and I hope that they continue to grow economically. It could be a rich culture and with the many natural resources, it could become a real tourist destination.

The treatment the Americans and other hostages received was horrendous. I felt sorry for both them and the poor ignorant soldiers guarding them.

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