Rebel group FARC on Saturday released a soldier who had been captured in combat in the southwest of Colombia late last month.
The 19-year old Soldier Josue Alvarez was released in Policarpa, the same municipality in the southwest of the country where he was captured while engaged in combat with a rebel unit.
“They treated me well,” the visibly emotional soldier told Venezuelan television station Telesur that was the only news outlet present at the release after alleged misbehavior by Colombian media frustrated the release of two policemen on Thursday.
The policemen were eventually surrendered on Friday to a humanitarian mission consisting of delegates of the Red Cross and former Senator Piedad Cordoba, who has played key roles in previous hostage release operations..
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The rebels banned kidnapping for economical and political reason in February last year. It has since held “prisoners of war” but these were released within weeks after their kidnapping, apparently without ransom. However, according to anti-kidnapping NGO Pais Libre, FARC units have continued kidnapping.
The rebel group has been involved in formal peace talks with the Santos administration since late last year. Both parties have expressed their desire to end the armed conflict between rebels and state that has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions over the past decades.