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October 09, 2013

US veteran kidnapped by Colombia's FARC "speaks" from captivity

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US Army vet Kevin Scott Sutay was kidnapped by Colombia’s FARC guerrillas in July as he wandered outside the city of San Jose de Guaviare – against local advice and, some would argue, common sense

The rebel group is in the process of hammering out a slow-motion peace agreement in Havana and kidnapping tourists – even if they are former soldiers – is bad PR.

 The FARC have repeatedly offered to set him free as long as the government sends the right emissary – first, former Colombian Sen. Piedad Cordoba and now former US presidential candidate Rev. Jesse Jackson. President Santos, not surprisingly, has rejected both ideas, saying the guerrillas should skip the fanfare and release Sutay to the Red Cross.

 Now, the guerrillas have put out a lengthy “interview” with Sutay.

 In the FARC’s telling, the young man sounds like he’s on a fabulous eco-adventure.

“Before I go I have to see a tiger,” they quote him as saying. “ I'm enjoying my time here in the jungle, it's a pity you tell me that I will not be able to stay here any longer, you are really good people, I would like to stay longer, but if you say that the best thing for me is to go, I believe you. Will you visit me?"

Before you read the full conversation, keep in mind that this is one-sided, unverifiable account put out by a group that has executed hostages in the recent past and held others for more than a decade. Also, the FARC are considered a terrorist organization by the US and Colombia, so clicking below is likely to  get you flagged.

See the full transcript on the FARC’s website here

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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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