FARC releases “The Gringo of Folklore” operative

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, turned over the American, Kevin Scott Sutay, to an international delegation in a rural area of southeastern Colombia, according to a statement by the International Committee of the Red Cross http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/28/world/americas/colombia-rebels-free-american-hostage.html?ref=world&_r=0

Mr. Sutay was captured in mid-June while traveling in an area where the FARC is active. According to The Associated Press, Pentagon records show that Mr. Sutay was born in 1985 and served as an army combat engineer from November 2009 to March 2013. He was deployed to Afghanistan for a year ending in November 2011, The A.P. reported.
The FARC announced in July that it had taken Mr. Sutay hostage on June 20, claiming that his presence in Colombia was proof that “American soldiers and mercenaries” were taking part in counterinsurgency operations in the guise of private contractors.

United States officials denied that, saying Mr. Sutay had no current ties with the American armed forces. They said he appeared to have been on a trip through Latin America as a tourist when he was kidnapped.

The United States has poured billions of dollars in aid into Colombia, and at times dispatched soldiers and private contractors, to back the government’s fight against the FARC and traffickers.

FARC appeared to have suddenly change their mind when they posted that, “the gringo of folklore, a chewer of gum and smoker of marijuana, who, with a backpack on his back, blue jeans and a few dollars in his pocket, sets out to get to know the world.”

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