BOGOTA - Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos suspended peace talks with Marxist FARC rebels following the kidnapping of an army general, throwing into crisis the nation's efforts to end 50 years of war.
General Ruben Dario Alzate, who heads the Titan task force in the Pacific department of Choco, was captured on Sunday afternoon, with another military official and a civilian. "Tomorrow negotiators were to travel to another round of talks in Havana," Santos said late on Sunday. "I will tell them not to go and that the talks are suspended until these people are released." The general was captured after disembarking from a boat on a river near the city of Quibdo, during a visit to the site of an energy project, Defence Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said.
Another official and a lawyer travelling on the boat were also captured, though a soldier at the wheel of the launch managed to escape and inform the authorities.
The president had publicly warned the group that it risked jeopardizing the peace process after the abduction of two soldiers last week and continued regular attacks on infrastructure.