News

    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.
    Comments
         
    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora