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Colombian General Resigns After Abduction by FARC Rebels

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A Colombian general who was released Sunday after being captured by rebels two weeks ago, has resigned.

Gen. Ruben Dario Alzate and two others were seized by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) after traveling into guerrilla territory without protection and dressed in civilian clothes, the Associated Press reports.

His abduction halted two years of peace talks.

“Out of love and respect for our military institution, which has been affected by this incident, I’ve asked the national government to retire me from active service,” Altaze said.

President Juan Manuel Santos has demanded a public explanation from Alzate and the military regarding how the three came to be captured.

Alzate said he was inspecting a power project on the Altrato river with his two companions, an army corporal and a lawyer, when he was met by four men from Farc’s 34th division.

He says he was wearing civilian clothes in order to build trust among the local population.

Alzate admitted that he had not followed military protocol and in doing so had dishonored his uniform.

In captivity, the general says he received death threats, was forced to march for long hours through the jungle and was tied to a tree during the nights.

The president has sent his peace negotiators to Cuba to try and salvage the peace talks.


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Write to Helen Regan at helen.regan@timeasia.com