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Sun Dec 7, 2014, 03:46 PM

New versions of events surrounding General Alzate’s capture surge

New versions of events surrounding General Alzate’s capture surge
Dec 5, 2014 posted by Robin Llewellyn

Doubts continue to grow over inconsistencies between accounts of the capture of General Ruben Dario Alzate by the FARC. While the general claims to have been captured at gunpoint by FARC guerrillas in the hamlet of Las Mercedes, local accounts claim that he left the community peacefully.

Politicians and security experts have been asking why the general came to be unarmed and without a security escort in one of the Colombian regions most vulnerable to guerrilla influence.

Former president Alvaro Uribe first broke the news of the general’s capture, using a version of events allegedly provided by a soldier present at the scene. This version of events claimed that FARC guerrillas emerged from the houses to surprise the unarmed general who had visited the hamlet to discuss development projects. Alzate was reportedly searched and then forced to board a boat.

That version of events was supported by the General’s account after his release.

Speaking on 1 December, Alzate claims that he visited Las Mercedes to discuss an alternative energy project that would have installed turbines in the Atrato River to generate electricity. He misinformed the army over his route and destination, and then dressed in civilian clothes and proceeded unarmed in order to develop trust in the community. After entering the village at 4PM on November 16 his group was surprised by four FARC guerrillas carrying rifles, led by alias “Chaverra” of the 34th Front.


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