jueves, 10 de julio de 2008

Ann Curry sat down with former hostage Ingrid Betancourt in France in her first U.S. TV interview since her rescue

Portions of the Interview Aired Tonight, July 9, on "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" and More of the Interview Will Air Tomorrow, July 10, on "Today" Transcript Below

NEW YORK – July 9, 2008 - - NBC News' Ann Curry sat down with former hostage Ingrid Betancourt in France in her first television interview since her rescue from captivity last week. Betancourt, the Colombian-French politician who was running for president when she was captured in 2002, was held hostage for six years in the Colombian jungle.

Portions of the interview aired tonight, July 9, on "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" and more of the interview will air tomorrow, July 10, on "Today."

Below are portions of the transcript of the interview. If used, please credit NBC News' Ann Curry with note of "Today" airdate (Thursday, June 10).

Jim Bell is the executive producer of "Today" (Mon. – Fri, 7-11 a.m.), and Alex Wallace is the executive producer of "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" (Mon. – Fri., 6:30 p.m.).

ANN CURRY: What did they do to you? The truth. Were you tortured?

INGRID BETANCOURT: I think I need time. I'm not ready to talk about that. I'm sorry.

ANN CURRY: You don't have to apologize.

INGRID BETANCOURT: When you talk about, when you feel that it's worse than leaving, I mean, it's like-- it's like-- you need to clean yourself. You have to clean yourself from things that you should talk about, from the thing that-- the-- the-- it will-- I don't feel comfortable about--

ANN CURRY: You said already, these people were very cruel and humiliated you. Why not vengeance?

INGRID BETANCOURT: Because vengeance is a chain. I don't want to be chained to that jungle.

ANN CURRY: When you see the video, when you watch yourself in those moments, realizing you're free.

INGRID BETANCOURT: It was incredible. I-- I-- I remember I had just scream, and-- and the sound of my voice. It went from my-- my stomach. It was like an-- an explosion. And then we-- we hugged, and we kissed. All we had wanted and dreamed (snaps fingers) and it was like -- we were free.


INGRID BETANCOURT: Everything that has happened is like a dream. There's no room for-- for-- for hate or for revenge.

ANN CURRY: Even against the people who treated you poorly.

INGRID BETANCOURT: Especially for the people that treated me poorly. Because I think that-- that I had a better-- fate than they have. At the end, I constructed myself, and I'm stronger. I think that they have a lot to go through, still, because-- when you-- when you do what they did-- I don't think you can feel like-- I mean, I-- I don't think you can feel good about yourself.

ANN CURRY: You have compassion?


ANN CURRY: For the people, the rebels who treated you so poorly?


ANN CURRY: Who made you suffer.


ANN CURRY: For six years. Who did unspeakable things to you. Can't even speak about them. INGRID BETANCOURT: Yes.

ANN CURRY: Do you feel compassion towards them?

INGRID BETANCOURT: Yes. Yes. Because I think there are-- well, because I-- I feel that I have my life back. And that they-- that they were, I mean, they were wrong. And-- what they did is perhaps, what they did for me was worse because what they-- what it implies for them.

ANN CURRY: It sounds like you're saying they have to deal with the guilt of what they did. INGRID BETANCOURT: Yes.

ANN CURRY: And their suffering--


ANN CURRY: And-- your compassionate, really, with their suffering.

INGRID BETANCOURT: Yes. Yes. I don't want-- I-- I hope that they will find a way to-- to change whatever has to be changed. And to just-- understand what happened in all those years. And I hope that they will find peace. I found peace. I'm in-- I'm in peace. I don't think they have been able to find peace. So, anyway, I-- I-- for me, it's thankful and to forgive. I think it's something that makes you more human. Makes you better person.

ANN CURRY: And, after years of being treated, as you say, like an animal, you want to be-- INGRID BETANCOURT: I don't want to be like them. I don't want to be like them. I-- I-- I want to be a better person, so it's just the opposite of what they are.

ANN CURRY: You want them tried. Prosecuted.

INGRID BETANCOURT: Yes. Probably. I-- I don't know, I mean, it's not something that's important for me, anymore. What is important for me, the only thing important for me, right now, is to-- to help those who are suffering in the jungle. That's the only thing that really matters.

ANN CURRY: Are you afraid to go back to Colombia?

INGRID BETANCOURT: I think I have to be prudent.

ANN CURRY: Which means? Not now? Not ever? Is it possible you will never go back to Colombia?

INGRID BETANCOURT: Oh no. I love my country. I am Colombian from the bottom of my heart. And I adore my country. And I-- I want to serve my country.


ANN CURRY: You are feeling for those who remain.


ANN CURRY: People you knew, who you were hostage alongside.


ANN CURRY: And you're afraid for them because of your release, along with your fellow hostages. So you are feeling survivor's guilt. A feeling of worry-ness.

INGRID BETANCOURT: Yes. Deeply. Deeply. A thing of-- that we have to find a way to-- to bring them to-- to-- to freedom. I think that something that-- when-- when I left-- Colombia, I had the-- opportunity of hiding their families. They were so distressed. They said that perhaps because we were freed, it-- I think they had the impression that the light was off for them.

ANN CURRY: You're afraid, they're afraid, they will be forgotten. Because you were the number one--


ANN CURRY: --the biggest name, the one who brought attention to the issue… So what are you going to do about that? Because you seem to be talking about doing things.

INGRID BETANCOURT: Well, I'll do everything I can, because I am with them every minute, day and night, with them.

ANN CURRY: You're saying you're thinking of them day and night.


ANN CURRY: You've said that you're going to not cut your hair until the very last one is released.


ANN CURRY: You're going to let it grow.


INGRID BETANCOURT: Well, that's just-- a detail. I mean, it's just like-- I-- I just want to-- tell them that my time is their time. And that the same way I didn't cut my hair for all these years of suffering-- well, the suffering continues for them. So my hair will be growing until they-- they stop suffering. But that's just something like-- it's like-- how do you say this?

ANN CURRY: It's a symbol.

INGRID BETANCOURT: Yes, it's a symbol. It's a biological clock too.

jueves, 3 de julio de 2008

La Oreja de Van Gogh and Amaia Montero are preparing their respective new albums

Spanish band La Oreja de Van Gogh is currently preparing their new album, to be released early September 2008. At the same time, it is still unknown who will be the new main vocalist of this band from San Sebastian. The secret will be unveiled on July 15th during a press conference whose location will be announced soon. At the same time, Amaia Montero, the band's former leading singer, is also working on the recording of her first solo album, to be released on November 2008. For this album, she's working with some of the best international producers.

While La Oreja de Van Gogh, with their new vocalist, and Amaia Montero are preparing their respective new albums, this week has seen the release of the album La Oreja de Van Gogh, Grandes éxitos, which includes the best songs in the career of the Spanish band. All the songs have been specially remastered for this project. These great songs close a 10-year period in the history of this band from San Sebastian; a decade during which they clearly became the absolute leaders of Spanish pop music, with 5 albums released which surpassed 6 million records sold worldwide.

Amaia Montero (vocals), Pablo Benegas (guitar), Xabi San Martín (keyboards), Álvaro Fuentes (bass) and Haritz Garde (drums) released their debut album (Dile al sol) in 1998, and that release became their first number one hit. Ten years later, Amaia and la Oreja de Van Gogh have decided to follow different paths, leaving their records also at number one with their album “Guapa”, the best selling album in 2006, which obtained 11 platinum and 3 gold records worldwide. In this decade, the band released 65 songs that are already part of the history of Spanish music.

As journalist Diego A. Manrique wrote in 2003, “If anyone takes the time to analyze the structure in the songs of this band, he will soon discover that these songs were not designed just following the rules. They offer a lot of human emotions and even some experimentation in their structure, both in the lyrics and also in the instrumental treatment of these songs”.

16 of these songs have been compiled now, after being remastered, in the album La Oreja de Van Gogh. Grandes éxitos, which has been released in two different formats: CD and CD+DVD (the latter one includes the videos of all the songs on the album). The songs featured in this release are already part of our recent memory, and were all composed throughout their musical career, supported by a unique, personal, one-of-a-time style. The hits included on the album are “Cuídate”, “20 de enero”, “El 28”, “París”, “La playa”, “Muñeca de trapo”, “Puedes contar conmigo”, “Rosas”, “Dulce locura”, “Cuéntame al oído”, “Vestido azul”, “Pop”, “Geografía”, “Mariposa”, “En mi lado del sofá” and “Soledad” as a bonus track.

The album La Oreja de Van Gogh Grandes éxitos is a very special journey through a musical career filled with number one hits, which obtained the most prestigious awards (Latin Grammy, Premios de la Música, Amigo Awards, Ondas, MTV and Viña del Mar Music Festival awards, among so many others). The band traveled around the world immersed in long, extensive concert tours in Spain, United States, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Peru, Panama, Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Nicaragua and France, among many other countries.

If a specific album could represent a fundamental part of the last ten years in the history of the most international Spanish music, that would be the case for this greatest hits album, featuring 16 songs that became worldwide hits and which now return to be part of the not-to be-missed albums collection. This is the perfect portrait of La Oreja de Van Gogh's story, which is now available to close one of the golden decades of Spanish pop.

Watch here their videos on the official youtube channel.

Source: F & F Media Corp. / Adolfo Fernández