Colombia, rebels agree to terms on releasing captured general

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 19, 2014 1:18 PM

By Nelson Acosta

HAVANA/BOGOTA (Reuters) - The Colombian government and leftist FARC rebels have agreed to unspecified conditions under which the rebels will release General Ruben Dario Alzate and four others as soon as possible, representatives of the Cuban and Norwegian governments said on Wednesday.

The Colombian government had suspended peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) until Alzate was freed.

"The parties have agreed the necessary conditions for the release of the following people," the statement said, listing the general plus a soldier and a civilian lawyer who were captured together on Sunday plus two other soldiers captured in a separate incident.

"The releases will take part as soon as possible," the statement said.

The statement was read in Havana by the so-called guarantors of the peace talks: Rodolfo Benítez of host nation Cuba, and Rita Sandberg of Norway, which is acting as a facilitator.

The standoff has plunged the peace talks, which marked their second anniversary on Wednesday, into crisis. Meanwhile Latin America's longest-running war, which has killed some 200,000 people over 50 years, continues.

(Reporting by Nelson Acosta; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Ken Wills)