Colombian FARC rebels release soldier day before ceasefire begins

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 19, 2015 11:40 AM

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia's FARC rebels released a soldier they had held for nearly two weeks on Sunday, President Juan Manuel Santos said, a day before a unilateral ceasefire declared by the group was set to start.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, handed over Cristian Moscoso Rivera to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Moscoso was captured during combat in southeastern Putumayo, on the border with Ecuador.

"Lieutenant Moscoso is now free and is in good condition," Santos said on Twitter.

The government and the FARC have been wading through complex peace talks since late 2012 to end the country's 50-year war. The negotiations were briefly suspended last year when the rebels captured a general and two others.

After a recent increase in attacks, the FARC announced it would begin a unilateral ceasefire on July 20.

(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta, Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb)