Ingrid Betancourt On 'Today Show': 'What Stays Of You After Death ... And Those Are Words' (VIDEO)

09/24/2010 11:17 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

In 2002, Colombian guerrillas captured politician Ingrid Betancourt and held her in brutal captivity for six years. Now, two years after her release, Betancourt has revealed shocking details of her journey in a new book, "Even Silence Has An End." She discussed her book with Matt Lauer on the "Today Show" this morning.

"Well, I think it's a cry of hope. It's a verse of Pablo Neruda," the author said about her book's title. "It talks about what stays of you after death ... and those are words. So, it says that even silence, and for me even death, has an end. And because the jungle and captivity was a death for me, coming back was an end to that silence."

Lauer asked about the "highly critical" Keith Stansell, an American military contractor who was held captive alongside Betancourt.

"He called you 'the most disgusting human being I've ever encountered'," Lauer said. "How do you respond to that?"

"I think I was a troublemaker in the jungle," she said. "In the sense that I wouldn't cope with many of the things that we were confronted [with]. For example, I remember a roll call. They were trying to make us respond with numbers. So, my companions would say, 'one,' 'two,' 'three,' when they were called, and I just said, Ingrid Betancourt."

The Associated Press reported earlier this month:

"Of all the horror, pain, and degradation both physical and mental that Ingrid Betancourt suffered during six and a half years in the Colombian jungle, perhaps nothing felt more dangerous to her than when her captors tried to erase her last bit of identity: her name."


Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Suggest a correction