Author Topic: Ecuador: Video provides more evidence Correa received FARC money  (Read 992 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mayya

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 7874
Ecuador: Video provides more evidence Correa received FARC money
July 17, 20097:37 PM MST

[font='Proximo Nova', 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa[/font]

On July 17, the Associated Press reported that an hour-long video found on a Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel’s laptop indicated the FARC provided a substantial sum of money to Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa’s 2006 election campaign. In the recently decrypted video, the FARC’s no. 2 commander, Jorge Briceno, is shown reading the deathbed missive of the FARC’s no. 1 commander at the time, Manuel “Tirofijo” Marulanda. Here are the more important pieces of information gleaned from the video by authorities:

- In his letter, Marulanda stresses the strategic importance of "maintaining good political relations, friendship and confidence with the governments of Venezuela and Ecuador."

- Marulanda laments that Colombia seized a trove of electronic documents that badly compromised the rebels and their foreign friends — namely, Correa and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

- Marulanda then mentions "assistance in dollars to Correa's campaign and subsequent conversations with his emissaries," the letter said. It mentions "some agreements, according to documents in the possession of all of us, that are very compromising regarding our ties with friends."

Associated Press video experts are in the process of verifying the tape’s authenticity, but preliminary reviews indicate no sign of tampering. The video also corroborates a written version of Marulanda’s missive found on another FARC rebel’s computer in October. Despite this weighty evidence, Ecuador’s security minister denied Correa’s government had any relation to campaign donations or accord with FARC rebels. Correa himself has also repeatedly denied any ties to the FARC.

As incriminating as all this evidence is, for both Correa and Chavez, it appears it’s still not quite enough to initiate any sort of diplomatic or international action against either government. Everyone “knows” the FARC operates across the Colombian border in both Venezuela and Ecuador—and Colombia is none too happy about that—yet somehow, both Chavez and Correa have managed to avoid any sanctions or legal actions.

When documents implicating the Venezuelan government in providing support to the FARC were found in a 2008 raid in Ecuador, Chavez laid low, despite some calls within the US government to place Venezuela on the state sponsor of terrorism list. It’s possible those calls may be renewed for Ecuador instead. However, there are a few obstacles to that. The U.S. imports a decent amount of oil from both countries; approximately 15 percent between the two of them. The U.S. also maintains a military base in Manta, Ecuador, although that base has to be relocated by November, when the lease ends.

Regardless, both Correa and Chavez know these findings will not play well on the international stage. Correa will likely follow Chavez’s example from last year and stay out of the spotlight—at least for now.