Colombia in massive search for kidnapped general

Colombian soldiers prepare to go on patrol in Quibdo, in the department of Choco on November 17, 2014Quibdó (Colombia) (AFP) – The Colombian army has mounted a massive search for a general captured by FARC guerrillas, a kidnapping that has derailed peace talks just as they marked their two-year anniversary Wednesday. Some 1,500 troops, 10 helicopters and planes, as well as boats and land vehicles have been deployed in the jungle-covered region of Choco to search for General Ruben Alzate, the highest-ranking military officer to be captured by the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in five decades of conflict. Alzate, 55, went missing Sunday with Corporal Jorge Rodriguez and army adviser Gloria Urrego as they traveled by boat to visit a civilian energy project in Choco, where the general heads a task force responsible for fighting the rebels and drug gangs rife in the region. The kidnapping caused President Juan Manuel Santos to suspend peace talks with the FARC in Havana, the most promising effort yet to end Colombia’s 50-year-old conflict.

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