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Colombia's FARC frees captive police officer

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The FARC guerrilla group on Sunday freed a police officer who was captured 10 days ago in Colombia, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

The policeman, Jhon Fredy Lopez, was in good health when he was handed over to the ICRC in a rural area of southwestern Colombia, spokeswoman Erika Tovar said.

The Marxist-inspired FARC, which stands for Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, recently offered to release another hostage, American Kevin Scott Sutay.

The rebels wanted US activist Jesse jackson to mediate. But President Juan Manuel Santos' government said that only ICRC staff could take part in any release operation.

Sutay was captured by rebels on June 20 in Guaviare, apparently while on a vacation.

The FARC, which now has 7,000-8,000 troops, has waged an insurgency against the state since the Marxist-inspired force's founding in 1964.

The government and FARC negotiators are negotiating on a peace plan in Cuba. To get the negotiations on track, the FARC agreed in March 2012 not to kidnap civilians.

Four previous attempts at a negotiated settlement of the conflict ended in failure.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131020/colombias-farc-frees-captive-police-officer