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Hostages Of Leftist Rebels Rescued In Colombia


This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.


And I'm Ari Shapiro.

A dramatic rescue in the jungles of Colombia yesterday. Colombia spies led member of the rebel FARC group to unmarked military helicopters where 15 hostages were flown to safety without a shot being fired. Three Americans were in the group, and so was Ingrid Betancourt. The FARC kidnapped her during her presidential run six years ago. Betancourt spoke with reporters through an interpreter after her rescue, and her comments were on CNN.

Ms. INGRID BETANCOURT (Former Presidential Candidate, Colombia): (Through translator) We heard the helicopters and I looked up to the sky and I thought that's so - it's so curious that can finally be excited to hear a helicopter, because for seven years every time I heard a helicopter my pulse would raise. I would be scared.

SHAPIRO: Betancourt said when she found out she'd been rescued, the helicopter almost fell from the sky because we were jumping up and down yelling, crying, hugging one another. She said she never expected to get out alive.

In the United States, George Gonsalves was mowing his lawn in Connecticut when he heard that his son Mark was finally free.

Mr. GEORGE GONSALVES: I'm excited. I'm happy. I'm happy. I can't think of a better way to celebrate the Fourth of July.

SHAPIRO: Mark Gonsalves, Thomas Howes and Keith Stansell arrived in San Antonio arrived late last night. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

United States & World Morning Edition