Colombia Says Rebel Documents Show Link to Venezuela

Colombia's government says documents recovered from the computer of a slain rebel leader show shows links between leftist rebels and the Venezuelan government of President Hugo Chavez. Organization of American States will hold an emergency meeting Tuesday in Washington to discuss the developing crisis between Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. VOA's Brian Wagner has this report from Miami.

Colombian officials said the evidence was recovered after a controversial military attack on a rebel base inside Ecuador, which killed 17 members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Colombian officials say the information was contained on three computers and included letters from top FARC commander, Raul Reyes, who was killed in Saturday's attack.

National police chief Oscar Naranjo said the information shows Venezuela's government offered to supply rifles to the FARC and sent $300 million to the rebel group. Naranjo said that officials were studying whether the money could be part of a deal to release several hostages held by the FARC.

The police chief said the only thing he can confirm now is that President Hugo Chavez paid $300 million to the FARC in support of its terrorist activities.

Naranjo said the evidence was being forwarded to the Organization of American States to help verify the information. The regional group has called a meeting in Washington on Tuesday to discuss the situation.

The presidents of Ecuador and Venezuela have responded angrily to the military strike, and announced plans to send troops to the borders with Colombia.

In Bogota, presidential spokesman Cesar Mauricio Velasquez sought to ease tensions, saying Colombia had no plans to send troops to its borders. But he said the seized information raises questions about links between the FARC and the governments of Venezuela and Ecuador.

He said Colombia is concerned about possible agreements between the FARC and the governments of Ecuador and Venezuela which would violate their obligations against harboring terrorists.

Ecuador's government denied any links to FARC rebels.

Colombia has complained that FARC rebels often cross remote jungle borders into Ecuador and Venezuela to seek refuge from Colombian military attacks.

In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey said Washington backs Colombia's efforts to respond to the threat posed by FARC rebels, which the United States considers a terrorist organization. He said the dispute between Colombia and Ecuador about the attack should be addressed through dialogue.

"We think the way for any differences about this particular military action to be resolved is through dialogue among the two countries," said Tom Casey. "That is in everyone's interest, and it is certainly what we are encouraging the government of Colombia and the government of Ecuador to do"

Several Latin American leaders have appealed for calm in the situation, saying any conflict could hurt the region.

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs