IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

FARC Rebels Agree To Free Kidnapped Colombian General

Image: Colombian Brigadier-General Ruben Dario Alzate reportedly kidnapped by guerrilla members of FARC
The Colombian rebel group FARC has announced it will release Colombian General Ruben Dario Alzate, who was captured by the group, the first time in 50 years it had captured a high-ranking officer. COLOMBIAN ARMY / HANDOUT / EPA

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) promised to free General Ruben Dario Alzate and four others "as soon as possible" after the Marxist rebels reached an agreement with the government. The release of the general, which may happen over the weekend, may lead to a resumption of peace talks that were halted after the general was taken by FARC.

General Alzate's capture was the first time in almost 50 years of fighting between the rebels and the Colombian government that a high-ranking military official had been taken hostage.

Alzate and two others were taken Sunday by a FARC patrol as they were surveying a coastal region of Choco. Soon after Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced the cessation of peace talks which had been ongoing in Cuba.

"Once they are all free, the government's delegation will return to Havana," said Santos after the FARC announcement that they would release Alzate and the others.

Santos has staked his presidency on bringing peace to Colombia, winning re-election this year against a right-wing opponent who threatened to ditch the talks and finish the FARC on the battlefield.