The corpse of a non-commissioned army corporal was found Monday in the southwest of Colombia along with that of an unnamed civilian.
Corporal Salatiel Alvarez and the civilian were allegedly kidnapped last month by the Gabriel Galvis and Garipiari mobile column, a guerrilla unit of the FARC, Colombia’s oldest and largest rebel group.
The corpses, abandoned on the side of a small road in the Palmira municipality, reportedly showed signs of close-range gunshot wounds believed to have been the cause of death. Police estimate that the victims were killed roughly five days ago, judging from the state of decomposition their bodies were found in.
At the time of the original incident, the Colombian Army accused the FARC of perpetrating the two kidnappings, based on reports allegedly received from the local population. Since then, FARC representatives have neither confirmed nor denied the rebel group’s involvement.
The FARC agreed last year to end its kidnapping activities as part of a pre-condition for ongoing peace talks with the Colombian government, the 14th round of which began Monday in Havana.
Over the course of the last year, the FARC has captured various soldiers and a foreign journalist, but called the incidents ‘acts of war’ and not kidnappings.
So far, none of the delegates involved in either side of the Havana talks has made any public comment on the deaths of corporal Alvarez and the anonymous civilian.