Sunday, 2 March 2008

FARC leader Raul Reyes assassinated by Colombia in Ecuador

The Wombats have also just come across this piece of worrying breaking news. It's a problem, not only because of what was done, but the way it was done. Venezuela's president Chavez, who has already suffered incursions by Colombian forces during his term in office, has threatened that he will regard any such move against Venezuela by the neighbouring country at this point as an act of war.

What's worse is that, as part of the moves brokered by Chavez for the FARC-EP to release some of their hostages/ POWs, Raul Reyes has been the chief negotiator on the FARC-EP side. The FARC -EP has now unilaterally released 6 hostages, as gestures of good will and its willingness to negotiate. The same good will cannot be ascribed to the Colombian state, and president Uribe.

Like so many times before, the Colombian state is speaking out its arse about peace, while it goes on murdering trade union leaders, farmers, workers, peasants, students, and so on, and propping up the right-wing drug-funded paramilitaries.
Similarly to Chavez, Ecuador's president Rafael Correa has lodged an official complaint with Colombia for their incursion into Ecuadorian territory. His approach is not too different to Chavez's, as reported in the El Tiempo article, reproduced below via Ecuador-Rising. If perhaps less direct, it is more thorough in its rhetoric.

The FARC-EP response is still pending, as their website has been down for some time, for reasons we are unclear about.

Actions are being planned for March 6 in protest against the Colombian state for the breaches of human rights it commits daily against its own people. This adds one more crime to the list.

Raul Reyes presente!
Viva la
Nueva Colombia!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Ecuador recalls ambassador to Colombia for consultations after death of "Reyes" in the country

Via El Tiempo, 2 March, 2008

The move was announced by President Rafael Correa, who warned that he will risk "the ultimate consequences in order to clarify this outrageous act that is an attack on our territory".

He added that "The president (Alvaro Uribe) or was either misinformed, or he blatantly lied to the president of Ecuador (...). We are lodging a strong note of protest".

He also said: "If we can find no conclusive evidence or explanations showing that President Uribe was misled or that evidence is clear for all the world to see that he has once again lied to the Ecuadorian government and that he has no scruples regarding our territory ... I repeat: we will risk the ultimate consequences, but we will not allow even one more outrage.''

The Colombian authorities claimed that the camp where "Reyes" was was located 1.8 kilometres on the Ecuadorian side of the border.

For these reasons, Correa recalled his ambassador in Colombia, Francisco Suéscum Ottati .

"They were massacred as they slept"

Correa explained that according to the Ecuadorian army, they found, at the scene of battle (near the town of Angostura, 250 kilometres northeast of Quito and 130 kilometres from the border with Peru) that ''there was no sign of pursuit.''

The guerrillas were "bombed and massacred as they slept, using advanced technology (...) probably with the
collaboration of foreign powers'", said Correa.

He also said that a military patrol that went to the area found 15 of the guerrilla's corpses, and 2 wounded guerrillas in a makeshift camp ... in Ecuadorian territory (...) and that the corpses were wearing pyjamas''.

According to the Ecuadorian head of state, it was a "temporary camp of the Colombian guerrillas (...) Colombia clearly invaded Ecuadorian airspace (...) and then came to take the body of "Raul Reyes"' ".

The President described the incident as "a real blow to the civilised relationship that fraternal countries sharing a border should have".

"Bombing the most serious attack on the sovereignty of Ecuador this century"

"The bombing the most serious attack on the sovereignty of Ecuador this century" according to Ecuador's Security Minister, Gustavo Larrea.

According to Larrea, "there is a history of an armed incursion by one state (Colombia) against the other sovereign state (Ecuador) with no respect for any international procedure, just such as has happened this morning (Saturday)," he added.

Following the statements by Correa, the defense minister of Ecuador, Wellington Sandoval, added that the military forces of Ecuador are "on alert" on the border with Colombia and "ready to repel any external aggression."

He assured that the Ecuadorian military played no role in the attacks.

''This is an area of very thick jungle and of course our troops were not present there. It is impossible to have troops along the entire border,''he said.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia said that tonight there would be a response by the minister of Foreign Relations, Fernando Araujo.

The Ecuadorian border was closed on "Reyes"

Highflying aircraft bombed their camp. His death is the biggest blow struck to the FARC in 44 years of armed conflict.

The most significant blow to the FARC had received throughout its history, the killing of "Raul Reyes" yesterday on the border with Ecuador, followed several events this week.

On Wednesday, police intelligence returned to "listening in" to some communications, which had reappeared after two months of silence.

That signal complemented valuable information obtained by the Dijín in another operation on Monday when another blow was struck against the FARC: the capture of "Martín Sombra", one of the 'historic guerrillas' at Saboyá (Boyacá).

In addition, this week the network responsible for the security of "Reyes" was thwarted in the border area. In Piñuña Black, jurisdiction of Puerto Leguizamo (Putumayo), several of them were arrested .

Among them was alias "Martha", the sister of Rubin Castaneda, the head of the Front.

That was the group responsible for ensuring, with payment, the tranquil movement of "Raul Reyes" around the border.

These captures were key in verifying reports on the presence of the guerrilla chief in several FARC camps that were distributed on both sides of the border and also forced him to move, because he had not received the money sent him every week by secretariat.

Data from human sources, alongside intelligence techniques, enabled tracing of the increasingly sporadic communications of "Reyes", and air power decided the fate of the first member of the FARC secretariat to die in a military action of the Colombian State.

In the words of an official source, data on the movements of '"Reyes" were so accurate that they were only waiting for "his nose to stick out" to start the operation. And that happened after midnight on Friday.

Yesterday, when he announced to the country that the troops were the bodies of "Reyes" and "Julián Conrado" (a very popular commander in the FARC because he was one of the guerrillas' singers) Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos confirmed information which has caused ongoing friction with Quito: that there are subversive camps in Ecuadorian territory.

According to minister Santos, the Government learned that "Reyes" had come to a camp of the 48th Front in the site of Grenada last night.

At 12:25 am yesterday, several Air Force planes left bases in the south of the country with a clearly defined goal.

The planes flew only at 2 thousand feet high. Cluster bombs were used on the targets defined by the intelligence.

At the same time, several battalions entered the area by helicopter, but were met with heavy fire coming from across the border. These bullets killed the professional soldier Carlos Hernandez Leon.

This second camp was 1,800 meters inside the Ecuadorian territory, in a place known as Santa Rosa. The aircraft fire was then directed there, but the minister said that the river Putumayo was not crossed. The aim? "Powerfully responding fire and neutralising the enemy."

It was, to quote a high source, a "surgical operation" with the participation of all security agencies.

A joint command of the Police and Navy crossed the border. Some stayed to maintain control of the site until they had contacted representatives of the Ecuadorian authorities, who were immediately informed of the facts.

What the troops found was reported immediately to Bogota, where every detail was described to the millimetre: they found the bodies of 17 guerrillas, including two of the most wanted: Édgar Luis Devia, the man who in the world of war was known as "Raul Reyes", and Guillermo Enrique Torres, "Julian Conrado", of the FARC.

According to a high source who participated in the successful operation, "Reyes" had a Rolex watch and the state of his body allowed its immediate identification.

The body's 1.55 metres in height and the scars on his forehead and left index finger match. He also had a tattoo. He wore a T-shirt with the face of Manuel Marulanda, as shown in the photos first revealed yesterday in the afternoon by

Intelligence sources ensured that a young guerrilla who had become his partner in recent months also died.

The death of "Conrado" is also very symbolic. He had been in the thematic committees during negotiations at Caguan and was now the ideologist of the 48th Front. He was the director of the Voice of the Resistance, the FARC's network of clandestine stations, and the Government of the EU had also placed a price on his head: $ 2.5 million.

$ 5 million was offered for "Reyes", and it was assessed yesterday whether that money would be handed over to sources in the border area, who allowed the authorities to strike the historic coup, which joins others such as bombings against "Acacio Negro" and "Martín Caballero".

25 arrest warrants have been issued, and several convictions were pending against "Raul Reyes". He was one of the masterminds of the strategy to kidnap politicians to pressure the so-called humanitarian exchange.

2 thousand feet was the height at which armed aircraft of the Air Force bombed the camp where the chief guerrilla "Raul Reyes" and his men were.

Evidence of the importance of Ecuador to the FARC

In fact, two of the harshest blows to the guerrillas in recent years have occurred south of the border.

On January 2, 2004, in an operation which was supported by the Ecuadorian authorities, Ricardo Ovidio Palmera Pineda, known as' Simon Trinidad ', was captured - one of the 22 members of the so-called general staff of the FARC.

His capture occurred in the touristy Amazonas Avenue in the Ecuadorian capital.

Like other guerrilla leaders, "Trinidad" had legal documents issued in that country. They were in the name of Cristo Rey Mariscal Peralta.

According to intelligence reports of the police and the Colombian Army, "Simon Trinidad" sought refuge there often, and was even receiving medical treatment.

But "Trinidad", catalogued as a big fish of the FARC, was not the only one who crossed the boundary line, about 600 kilometres long, often.

Intelligence agencies in Colombia have also discovered information to the effect that Ecuador is the meeting point between leaders of the guerrillas and their families.

"Rodrigo Granda" was supposed to be there when he was captured in Venezuela in 2004. The guerrilla, who was released by the government Uribe last year, depended directly on "Reyes" and moved easily between Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador.

Furthermore, we know that the other side of the border contacts are made for purchase of armament and kitchenware. Information to this effect was given this week by Luis Eladio Perez, the nariño leader released last Wednesday after more than six years of captivity.

He recounted how the rubber boots used by the FARC units operating in the south are made in Ecuador. "I slept in camps in that country," said Perez.

Drawing on a border marked by jungle and rivers, all illegal groups are believed to move through the area. The Farc have used it to traffick large quantities of drugs through the region for years.

The Armed Forces have also alleged that several operations against the FARC fronts, especially the 48th, have ended with the passage of the guerrillas into the neighbouring territory, where they have camps and guard coca crops.

For its part, the Ecuadorian authorities also complain about the presence of guerrillas in the area and the alleged lack of control by the Colombian authorities.

This has caused diplomatic friction between the leaders of the two countries.

Villagers have also complained of damage caused during the fighting.

However, in this latest blow, the authorities and governments seem to be coordinated. Moreover, it comes at a time of relatively calm in the relations between Rafael Correa, president of Ecuador, and Alvaro Uribe Velez.

Even the international conflict, because of the fumigation of illicit crops by Colombia, affecting farmers in Ecuador, is virtually frozen.

With EFE and AP


Anonymous said...

You clearly don't know anything about the Colombian conflict. Yes farc has released 6 (not seven) people that were kidnapped by them for 6 years or more (Emanuel was found by the Colombian government), but you forgot to mention the 11 congress men that they cowardly murder last year, or the thousand of humbled Colombians that they have killed over the past 40 years, or the 6 people that were kidnapped by them the day after they released Clara Rojas and Consuelo Perdomo or the hundresds of people that ere still kidnapped in the jungle.

You forget to mentioned that most of the rebels currently in jail don’t want to go back to the jungle were they where because they have realised that there is no really social philosophy behind farc, there are only individual and economical interests where drugs are the primary motor.

Take some time to look at what is really going on, ask the regular Colombians on the street and you will find the answer.

We are tired of farc and we want them out, they are not the peoples army.

Red Wombat said...

Rather than commenting on the relative cowardice of making such claims without any other reference point but your "anonymity", I'll take up the issues.

OK. They freed six. Why? Because the FARC-EP (it's their name, not one that I gave them) appear genuinely interested in pursuing a peaceful path in this. There were 12 more hostages - including Betancourt - who they were willing to release, after Ecuador and Venezuela began serious negotiations with them.

Negotiations which Uribe refused to do. The same Uribe who is linked with the paramilitaries, and with the Chiquita scandal, where paramilitaries terrorised the workers.

The same Uribe who presides over a state where, in the last decade, over 4 million people have been displaced, more than 35,000 disappeared, 10,000 bodies found in 3,000 graves, more than 2,570 union leaders (including around a thousand indigenous) have been murdered, more than 800 people murdered by paramilitaries per year, and half a million hectares stolen by the paramilitares.

All this by the same paramilitaries who boast of controlling 35% of Congress, and who have links with Uribe going back even before he was best mates with Pablo Escobar.

The same paramilitaries who are not being prosecuted for their crimes, but armed and pardoned to continue the same crimes.

The FARC receive 1.4% (yes, 1.4%!) of cocaine money, in taxes from the growing of coca plants in areas where the local population have no infrastructure to grow anything else. Uribe's mates in the paramilitaries and the army account for over 40% of cocaine profits.

So don't tell me I know nothing about the colombian conflict (nor its origins for that matter). You are either naiive, or have a vested interest.

Anonymous said...

After reading your "comeback" I'm now 200% sure that you know nothing about the Colombian conflict, absolutely nothing.

Is very easy to have your disturb views sitting in the comfort of your own home and away from Colombia's reality, its problems and its people.

You didn't even address any of my points against the farc (and don't insult my intelligence or for that matter the intelligence of any other Colombian, we know very well who those terrorists are and what their name is, we have been living with their atrocities for many years), because the truth is very clear to anyone.

1.4% drug money for farc!!!!!!! The best joke in a long time. Why do you think the want the corridor to the pacific??????? Stop being so naive.

Ecuador and Venezuela are nothing but an obstacle in our pursue for peace, their governments are nothing else but “facr pimps” and proofs having been coming to the public for some time now.

Take a little trip to Venezuela to live the reality of the new socialism and its philosophies to discover for your self what a lot of crap Chavez and his government are. Tell me after that if you would like to live as a regular Venezuelan in that country which government you think so highly of.

All your disturb visions of a problem so far away from you have no based whatsoever.

Red Wombat said...

Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela (Bolivia, Cuba too) - been there. Seen it (perhaps more than you have buddy). That argument won't wash with me. The FARC are far from perfect, but your politics smell of sulphur.

And I note your inability to respond to any of the facts pertaining to your almighty hero Uribe and his fascistic state and it's oh-so-peaceful-actions towards the people of Colombia.

So perhaps you might want to go somewhere else and cheer on the murder of a family by paramilitaries wielding machetes and chainsaw.

This blog is dedicated to peace, and its corollary, justice - neither of which you show any interest in.

Anonymous said...

Not only I have seen it, I HAVE LIVED IT, therefore I REALLY know what I'm talking about, unlike you.

How could you say this blog is dedicated to peace when you support those who killed and kidnap the people they SUPPOSEDLY defend.

Comunista de pacotilla.

Red Wombat said...

Your basura and apoogism for genocide ain't getting you any currency here. I suggest you leave, if you have nothing worthwhile to actually say.

Trolling and and insults won't be tolerated.

You haven't addresed any arguments, so I please refrain from posting any more until you learn how to deal with people who disagree with you (like the rest of us, in "civil", peace-loving, society do).

Anonymous said...

I don't see you addressing any of the arguments that evidence the atrocities done by facr, why? Because you can’t.

Your so called “arguments” are very distortion. Paramilitary are obviously a part of the Colombian conflict no Colombian is denying that, those murderers are a shame for our country as well.

Acknowledge what your farc “heroes” really do to our country. The point here is to show everyone the truth about this terrorists and murderess.

Do you know how many of those displace people, that you mentioned, are no longer in their towns and working the land because of facr? Do you know how many people have been killed because they wouldn’t give them their land to grow “amapola”?

Do you know haw many natives have been killed by them?

Do you know that they have destroyed entire towns? Booming even a church full with women and children?

Do you know that they created bomb collars, which one of them was place on a humbled woman, just for the sake of it? And that she died because of it?

Do you know that they place land mines all over our rural areas and that thousands of soldiers and civilian including a grate number of children have been killed or left disable because of them?

Do you know that the place car bombs that kill hundreds of civilians in our cities?

Do you know that they blow up a building in Bogota were hundreds died and some others were left disable?

Do you know they recruit underage children and train them to kill?

Do you know that they rape the under age girls they recruit?

Do you know they chained the more than 700 HUNDRED people that they keep kidnapped in the jungle?

Open your eyes and see what they are all about.

Anonymous said...

One more and very important thing.

Do you know that ALL COLOMBIANS were hostages in our own country because of the state of terror they created and we weren't able to move freely in or own country?

You haven’t lived like that, is easy to partially see things, to see only what you want to see when you are not in the middle of their atrocities.

blackstone said...

out of curiousity. is assassinated the correct term for his death?

Red Wombat said...

It is.
The FARC emcampment was attacked at 12:25 am, when they were asleep (the bodies were found in their pyjamas). Consequently, it was not a fire-fight, nor self-defence by Colombia.
They had to enter Ecuador to kill him, and knew of his whereabouts well before they did so, so it was planned and premeditated well in advance.
Reyes was known to be the key figure in securing the freedom and/ or exchange of prisoners held by the FARC, including former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, and the Colombian government was opposed to these talks going ahead.

Consequently, they invaded another country, in a pre-planned op, at midnight, to kill - in his sleep - the main peace-negotiator of the FARC, for the purposes of scuppering the talks that the FARC were in with France, Venezuela and Ecuador for freeing prisoners.

"Assassinated" is the perfect word for it.