Colombian rebels release soldier
February 17, 2013 -- Updated 1212 GMT (2012 HKT)
One of five Geo Explorer employees released by Colombia's ELN rebels earlier in the week.
- Soldier was captured by the FARC late last month
- He is at least the eighth person freed this week
- FARC rebels, the government are in peace talks
(CNN) -- The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, commonly known as the FARC, released a soldier hostage on Saturday, the International Committee of the Red Cross reported.
The soldier, identified as Josue Alvarez, was captured on January 30 in Narino, a department in southwest Colombia. He was released in that same department to a humanitarian team.
"We hope Mr. Alvarez will soon be reunited with his family," Jordi Raich, head of the ICRC delegation in Colombia, said in a statement. "We are delighted that the operation went smoothly."
ICRC said it has facilitated the release of eight people this week, including Alvarez, two police officers, also held by the FARC, and five civilians, held by a second rebel group, known as the National Liberation Army, or ELN.
The five civilians who were captured January 18 work for a mining company.
The police officers were taken in Valle del Cauca, another department in southwest Colombia, and had been held since January 25.
Their releases come amid peace talks between the government and the FARC. The two sides have been at war since the 1960s.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has said he wants talks wrapped up by November.
There have been sporadic attempts at peace in the past.
The last effort fell apart in 2002. Then-President Andres Pastrana ceded an area the size of Switzerland to the guerrilla group, but he ended negotiations after rebels launched a series of attacks across the country in an apparent bid to strengthen their position.
CNN's Dana Ford contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
May 16, 2013 -- Updated 1914 GMT (0314 HKT)
Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao is using his hero status to fight human trafficking in the Philippines, pushing for an anti-trafficking law.
May 16, 2013 -- Updated 2225 GMT (0625 HKT)
The U.N. says 70% of rapes committed in Somalia are carried out by men in military uniform. CNN's Nima Elbagir reports.
May 17, 2013 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Christiane Amanpour writes an open letter to girls of the world, saying it is time to end the discrimination against girls in education.
May 17, 2013 -- Updated 1912 GMT (0312 HKT)
Fans gasped when David Beckham wore a sarong. Then there was the nail polish and tattoos. But his masculinity was never in doubt.
May 17, 2013 -- Updated 1454 GMT (2254 HKT)
Albinos in Tanzania have been attacked and killed because some people believe their body parts bring good luck. But one albino is fighting back.
May 17, 2013 -- Updated 1250 GMT (2050 HKT)
Terrible results for Dell mean the future seems anything but bright for the PC industry despite a flurry of attempted innovations.
May 17, 2013 -- Updated 1600 GMT (0000 HKT)
Mario Balotelli has delivered his verdict on his time in the English Premier League -- the AC Milan striker couldn't be happier to have left England.
May 17, 2013 -- Updated 1104 GMT (1904 HKT)
If you thought Preakness was the poor sister to Kentucky Derby, think again. CNN brings you top five facts from the prestigious horse race.
May 15, 2013 -- Updated 2345 GMT (0745 HKT)
Natasha Kampusch was held for eight years in an Austrian man's basement. She talks about her road to recovery, exclusively to CNN.
May 15, 2013 -- Updated 2136 GMT (0536 HKT)
From her hospital bed, Reshma tells CNN about the 17 days she spent trapped under nine stories of rubble in Bangladesh.
May 16, 2013 -- Updated 2212 GMT (0612 HKT)
A room full of partygoers in San Francisco were given power over a cocktail-making robot controlled by their smartphones.
May 16, 2013 -- Updated 1557 GMT (2357 HKT)
The cast of "Star Trek Into Darkness" take a break from fighting space villains to answer questions from CNN iReporters.
May 16, 2013 -- Updated 1148 GMT (1948 HKT)
CNN brings you images capturing moments to remember. Look ahead to the future and chronicle our changing world.
Today's five most popular stories