South American Tensions High After Colombian Raid

March 05, 2008 03:38 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Following Colombia’s attack on rebel guerrillas in Ecuador, Quito and Venezuela cut diplomatic ties with Bogota and tighten border security.

30-Second Summary

Four days ago, Colombia killed 24 members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC.

The country asserts that Ecuador was providing sanctuary for the guerrillas, and that Hugo Chavez and Venezuela have been aiding the group.

Colombia claims that a laptop seized during the attacks contains information indicating that Chavez “was channeling $300 million” to the group, according to The New York Times.

As a result, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe declared that Chavez and Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa should be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court “for sponsoring and financing genocide,” reports The Moscow Times

Colombia also accused FARC of trying to make a dirty bomb, but “the documents it shared with reporters do not support that allegation,” Time magazine reports.

Since Colombia’s cross-border assault, both Ecuador and Venezuela have severed diplomatic ties with Bogota and tightened their border security.

Meanwhile, President Bush voiced support for Colombia, a close American ally in the region.

The incident prompted strong words from the Venezuelan government, with the justice minister declaring that war "has already begun," Time writes.

However, Reuters reports that the threat of war from Caracas is most likely just “rhetoric.”

The current situation follows on the heels of Chavez' helping negotiate the release of four former members of the Colombian Congress who had been held hostage by FARC.

Headline Links: Venezuela and Ecuador condemn Colombian raid

Reaction: ‘Colombia to Take Chavez to Court’

Background: Recent developments in the region

'FARC Frees Four Hostages’
‘Colombian Rebels Stay on Terror List Despite Chavez’

Opinions & Analysis: ‘FARC Not a Terrorist Group’

Key Players: Chavez, Uribe and FARC

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe

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