Ingrid Betancourt divorce updates: Judge orders assets frozen
First, who is Ingrid Betancourt? Ingrid Betancourt is a Colombian national who was kidnapped in 2002 by the FARC — Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (a narco-guerilla terrorist group)– while campaigning for president, in February 2003 2002
She was held captive for six years in the jungle and was freed, along with 14 other hostages, in 2008 when Colombian soldiers made a daring rescue, under the direction of then president Alvaro Uribe, that was the talk of the international press corps in 2008. Fellow captives Marc Gonsalves, Tom Howes, Keith Stansell portrayed Ingrid very negatively in a memoir they wrote about their time in captivity: Out of Captivity: 1,967 Days in the Colombian Jungle. In a subsequent interview in TIME they gave a rather scathing depiction of Ms. Betancourt:
In the book, and in the authors’ interview with TIME, the men make it clear that it wasn’t just jungle fare that left a bad taste in their mouths. Some of their more unpleasant memories are saved for fellow hostage Ingrid Betancourt, a French-Colombian who was kidnapped while campaigning for the Colombian presidency and was rescued along with the Americans and 11 other hostages last summer. The authors describe the married Betancourt as carrying on an affair with a Colombian hostage, acting like a privileged blue-blood — “a frickin’ princess” in Stansell’s telling — bossing around the other prisoners and hoarding precious books, food and a transistor radio. They even claim that she told the guerrillas that the Americans were CIA agents. Asked to elaborate on Betancourt, Stansell told TIME: “That’s an infection I lived with for many years. I’d just like to be inoculated and move on.” Betancourt has yet to respond to the Americans’ accusations.
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1882412,00.html#ixzz1EqUgXyqQ
We may have covered the Betancourt divorce in a 2011 post we did on Colombia because I do recall reading about this divorce case before today, however, maybe I was too busy with other issues to write up on it, so just in case, I wanted to do as thorough a job with giving you the background as I can…..
So. Prior to this asset freeze, Ingrid Betancourt, who divides her time between New York and Paris (she also owns a home in Wyoming), was having a bit of an ugly spat with her husband. Their troubles began from the time of her release from captivity, stemming from rumors that Ingrid had had an affair while in captivity, ostensibly with one of her fellow captives, Eladio Perez. Ingrid, on the other hand, accused her husband of likewise committing adultery with a Colombian Mexican journalist. Ingrid also accused her husband of using hallucinogenic drugs. Her husband denies the charges and has said he is “humiliated by the charge that Ingrid had had an affair during their six years apart and that he was hurt by the way Ingrid treated him after her release from captivity.
Ingrid was quite the political activist and led quite a peripatetic life prior to the events that changed her life and marriage, as her biography will show. Here’s a portion of her Wikipedia profile:
Betancourt was born in Bogotá, Colombia. Her mother, Yolanda Pulecio, is a former beauty queen who later served in Congressrepresenting poor southern neighborhoods of Bogotá. Her father, Gabriel Betancourt, was a minister during the General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla dictatorship (1953–1957), the assistant director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), then ambassador of Colombia to UNESCO in Paris, and head of the education commission of the Alliance for Progress in Washington, D.C. under John F. Kennedy. The Betancourt family is one of Colombia’s oldest oligarchic families, descended from French Norman immigrants who arrived from Grainville-la-Teinturière. After attending private school in France, a boarding schoolin England as well as the Liceo Francés in Bogotá,Betancourt attended the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (commonly known as Sciences Po).After graduating, Betancourt married fellow student Fabrice Delloye in 1983,and they had two children, Mélanie (born 1985) and Lorenzo (born 1988). Through her marriage she became a French citizen. Her husband served in the French diplomatic corps, and the couple lived in multiple countries, including New Zealand and the Seychelles. During the 1980s, she briefly lived in Quito, Ecuador, where she worked as a physical fitnessinstructor. In the mid-1990s, Betancourt and Delloye divorced, and she married Colombian advertising executive, Juan Carlos Lecompte in 1997. Their marriage ended soon after her 2008 rescue. Betancourt’s husband admits icy reunion – CNN.com Her children Melanie and Lorenzo moved to New Zealand to live with their father due to death threats stemming from her political activities. They were 16 and 13 when she was kidnapped in 2002
Not too shabby, eh? With regard to the assets that are frozen in her divorce, she owns, as mentioned above, a home in Wyoming, an apartment in Paris and New York, royalties from her books, Letter to My Mother, and Until Death do Us Part: My Struggle to Reclaim Colombia. Juan Carlos Lecompte has also written a memoir Ingrid and Me in which he portrays a scathing image of his “new” wife. He describes her as “money centered” “ungrateful” and “selfish.” Apparently, while Ingrid was in captivity, Juan had worked tirelessly for her release. He had even sold his apartment to finance his efforts to find her and get her released, hiring airplanes on numerous occasions to drop leaflets over the Colombian jungle in support of Betancourt and asking for her release. Here’s what Colombiawow.com said about the Lecompte book:
After Betancourt´s kidnapping in 2002, Lecompte became famous in France and in Colombia for his tenacious efforts to secure his wife´s liberation and his un-relentless love and loyalty.
On several occasions he hired an airplane to fly over the jungle, from which he would throw out thousands of flyers with support messages for Betancourt.
Journalists often found him at conferences and public events in favor of Colombia´s hostages, where he carried with him a life-sized picture of his kidnapped wife.
But after all of the suffering and the efforts to liberate her, Lecompte was not even greeted with a kiss or a hug.
“When she descended from the airplane” he writes in Ingrid and me: a bittersweet liberty “she just grabbed my chin and said ‘hello juanqui.’ I imagined everything but that… She laid her hand on my cheek but it felt like a blow to my heart.”
Ingrid and Me will be released in France on January 21st and could reach Colombia later this year.
The book describes how the relationship between husband and wife crumbled after Betancourt´s long awaited release, with Lecompte narrating well known episodes of Betancourt´s first days of liberty such as how she failed to thank him for his efforts to secure her freedom when she first addressed the international press, or how Betancourt headed to France with her children and her first husband the day after her liberation, without bothering to ask Lecompte if he wanted to come along…
Poor guy. But as a woman, it’s easy to understand why Ingrid got turned off after all those years in captivity. True, he tried to find her. But the bottom line is, he didn’t. After six years. So he is not her hero. And a woman needs her man to be her hero. That’s just how it is. Natural law. It may be illogical, unreasonable and irrational. But it is what it is. If a man fails to come through for a woman in a situation like this, she loses respect somehow. That’s just the way it is…..Ingrid Betancourt was not the only captive in the Colombia set who got a divorce after she was freed. Marc Gonsalves and Tom Howes were also in divorce proceedings in 2009 according to TIME. Also, this was not Ingrid’s first divorce. She was married and divorced from the father of her two children, Fabrice Delloye, a French citizen, in 1990. She is no stranger to divorce, Ms. Betancourt. Her parents divorced ca. 1975. Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fabiogis50/2827911642/sizes/m/in/photostream/