BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Three teenagers who were captured earlier this month by the rebel National Liberation Army in Colombia were released Monday following mediation by several human rights groups.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement that the teens were in good health when they were handed over to humanitarian workers in a rural area of Colombia’s Arauca department.
A masked spokesman for the rebels read a statement claiming the teenagers had been trained by Colombia’s military to collect intelligence on the movement.
The rebel group has around 3,000 fighters and has sought to take over drug trafficking routes and illegal mines abandoned by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia after that movement signed a peace deal with Colombia’s government in 2016.
The government canceled peace talks with the National Liberation Army last January after the group bombed a police academy in the capital, killing 22 people.