Latin America & Caribbean

Colombian rebels release US hostage Kevin Scott


Colombia's Farc rebels have freed a US hostage, former Marine Kevin Scott Sutay, after four months in captivity.

The American, who had been held in a remote jungle area in the south of the country since June, was released to representatives of the International Red Cross.

He is reported to be in good health.

The leftist Farc has promised to stop kidnapping as a condition for peace talks with the government taking place in Cuba.

In a statement, Cuba and Norway - the two countries sponsoring the peace talks - said Mr Scott was in "good" physical condition and would soon be reunited with his family.

Mr Scott was seized by the Farc in a region known as a conflict zone while hiking towards Brazil.

The rebels accused him of being involved in a counter-insurgency operation, in the guise of a security contractor.

The Farc said later they would release him to contribute to a positive mood, and asked for a former senator, Piedad Cordoba, to act as mediator.

The Colombian government rejected her mediation efforts, as well as those of the American civil rights activist, Jesse Jackson.

President Juan Manuel Santos said only the Red Cross should be involved, because he did not want what it called a media spectacle.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed Mr Scott's release.

He said the United States was "profoundly grateful" to the Colombian government for its efforts to secure his freedom.

More on this story