Colombia’s FARC Frees Ex-U.S. Marine

BOGOTA (Reuters) -

Colombia’s FARC guerrillas have freed a former U.S. marine who was kidnapped in June while he trekked through the jungle in a known guerrilla area, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the U.S. government said on Sunday.

Kevin Scott Sutay, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, had been backpacking through several Central and South American countries before he was captured by the FARC. He had ignored police warnings against hiking through a “red zone” for rebel activity in the southeastern province of Guaviare.

“We are pleased about the liberation today of U.S. citizen Kevin Scott Sutay, who was in the hands of the FARC,” read a statement from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, in which he expressed profound gratitude to the Colombian government and President Juan Manuel Santos for their efforts.

Sutay was handed over in Guaviare to a delegation of the governments of Colombia, Cuba, and Norway and members of the International Committee of the Red Cross before being delivered to U.S. Embassy officials at the airport in the capital, Bogota.