Book • Published by Knopf • August 10, 2010
A blistering journalistic exposé: an account of government negligence, corporate malfeasance, familial struggle, drugs, politics, murder, and a daring rescue operation in the Colombian jungle.
On July 2, 2008, when three American private contractors and Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt were rescued after being held for more than five years by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the world was captivated by their personal narratives. But between the headlines a major story was lost: Who exactly are the FARC? How had a drug-funded revolutionary army managed to hold so many hostages for so long? Had our costly War on Drugs failed completely? Hostage Nation answers these questions by exploring the complex and corrupt political and socioeconomic situations that enabled the FARC to gain unprecedented strength, influence, and impunity. It takes us behind the news stories to profile a young revolutionary in the making, an elite Colombian banker-turned-guerrilla and the hard-driven American federal prosecutor determined to convict him on American soil, and a former FBI boss who worked tirelessly to end the hostage crisis while the U.S. government disregarded his most important tool—negotiation.
The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt
Documentary Film • 76 minutes
The story of a Colombian presidential candidate, her kidnapping by leftist guerrillas, and her family’s desperate quest to free her and keep her campaign alive.
Held Hostage in Colombia
Documentary Film • 48 minutes
From deep within the Colombian jungle, the exclusive story of three Americans held hostage since their plane crashed in February 2003, landing them in a political minefield.
Pip & Zastrow: An American Friendship
Documentary Film • 75 minutes
The true story of two men who cross racial boundaries during segregation in the 1940s and form a life-long friendship that takes extraordinary turns. With humor, compassion and heartbreak, Pip and Zastrow navigate through 60 years against the backdrop of the civil rights movement and a country that has yet to overcome deep-seated racism and social inequity.