Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) say they are offering the release of a US soldier captured last month as a “gesture” of peace to the government.
In a statement released on their website on Friday, Colombia's leftist FARC rebels said they have “made the political decision” to release Kevin Scott Sutay “as a gesture in the context of the peace talks” with the government.
According to the rebel group, Sutay, a veteran of the Afghan war, was arrested in the municipality of Retorno in the southern department of Guaviare on June 20.
The FARC requested a humanitarian mission comprising of former senator Piedad Cordoba and the International Committee of the Red Cross for the soldier’s release.
The statement said the seizure indicated “active participation in the field of North American military men and mercenaries in counter-insurgency operations under the guise of contractors.”
Washington has so far made no comments on the issue.
The rebels have been holding talks with government officials in Cuban capital Havana, following an initial round of discussions in Oslo, Norway in November 2012.
FARC, which is considered as Latin America's oldest insurgent group, has been fighting the government since 1964 with an estimated 8,000 fighters.
The Colombian government estimates that the war has left 600,000 people dead, more than 3.7 million displaced and 15,000 missing.