‘No Regrets’ by American Freed by Colombian Rebels
An American woman released after spending a month as a captive of leftist rebels said Friday that she had no regrets about coming to Colombia for the bird-watching trip that resulted in her abduction.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia handed over Louise Augustine, 63, to government and Red Cross officials near this remote town in verdant mountains 60 miles southeast of the capital.
Two other American bird-watchers abducted with Augustine on March 23 were still being held, but the regional commander of the rebel group known by its Spanish initials FARC said the two men would be released today if Colombian media broadcast a communique in which he accused Washington of pro-government intervention in the country’s armed conflict.
The kidnappings came at a time of heightened U.S. concern over the FARC’s involvement in protecting drug traffickers and its recent victories over Colombian troops.
Augustine, a former nun and retired teacher from Chillicothe, Ill., credited her faith for helping her endure her ordeal.
“I prayed for a miracle, and this is it,” she said.
Augustine said she had difficulty walking after falling and injuring her ribs and hip on April 10. “I was never frightened,” she said.
She said the rebels treated her well. “They never threatened me.”