In 2002, French-Colombian politician and activist Íngrid Betancourt was campaigning for Colombia's presidency along with running mate Clara Rojas. The two were kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
And there she stayed for more than six years. Until today.
Today, in an unexpected raid, members of the Colombian Army freed Betancort and more than a dozen other hostages, including three Americans - DOD employees Thomas Howes, Marc Gonsalves and Keith Stansell. While many details of the mission are still unknown, the operation to free the hostages saw no loss of life on either side. Rojas had been freed in January.
All told, Betancort spent more than 2,300 days as a hostage. She is suffering from health issues, including problems with her liver. But she is free. A one-time former senator and anti-corruption activist, don't be surprised to see Betancort return to play an important role in South American politics.
But that day can wait. Today, Íngrid Betancourt and the other 13 hostages that were freed need only know that millions around the globe are thinking the same thought - welcome back.