The Colombian government has canceled peace talks in Cuba with leftist FARC guerillas, following the surprise kidnapping of a senior army general. Gavino Garay reports.
With the kidnapping of General Ruben Dario Alzate on Sunday, peace talks between Colombia's government and leftist FARC rebels have come to a sudden halt. Both sides were supposed to resume their discussions in Havana this week, but President Juan Manuel Santos says no talks are possible while Alzate and two others are being held hostage. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) COLOMBIAN PRESIDENT JUAN MANUEL SANTOS, SAYING: "Whilst this situation is unresolved, I reiterate that government negotiators will not travel to Havana to restart the talks." Alzate another military officer and a civilian were taken hostage while on a routine boat patrol. After two years of peace negotiations, the kidnappings came as a surprise. FARC negotiator, Pablo Catatumbo says the hostages will be returned only when the government agrees to a ceasefire. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FARC NEGOTIATOR PABLO CATATUMBO, SAYING: "We believe it is necessary and that this incident forces all of us to reflect upon the necessity of declaring a bilateral ceasefire now." The kidnappings threatens to plunge the country back into its violent past. Colombia is still reeling from nearly 50 years of fighting between the government and the leftist rebels that left some 200,000 dead.