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October 27, 2013

Four month ordeal of US veteran held by Colombia's FARC comes to an end

A few weeks ago, we wrote this post about Kevin Scott Sutay, the former US soldier who has been in FARC custody since June 20. Today, Cuba and Norway announced that Sutay had been released in good condition. 

This was a win for President Juan Manuel Santos who was trying to keep Sutay's release from becoming a high-wattage media circus, despite the FARC's insistence that they would only free the young man to former Colombian Sen. Piedad Cordoba or US Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Ultimately, just as the government had been calling for, Sutay was handed over to the International Red Cross with little fanfare. He's now in US custody. It will be interesting to see if he speaks to the press.

Finally, I have to wonder if the timing of his release has anything to do with Alvaro Uribe's new party, Uribe Centro Democratico, picking its horse yesterday to face Santos in next year's election.

Oscar Ivan Zuloaga -- Uribe's former minister of finance -- got the nod and has vowed to stay true to his former boss and oppose ongoing peace talks. That cranks up the pressure on the FARC and the government to prove their getting results in Havana. 

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jim wyss

Inside South America is written by Jim Wyss, the South America bureau chief for the Miami Herald and McClatchy Newspapers.

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