article from May 17, 2011
By Jamie Douglas
The ghosts of Colombia’s cross-border incursion into Ecuador just continue to haunt two of the most controversial leaders in the northern part of South America.
The London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) released a book-length dossier last Tuesday that goes into great detail about the Colombian rebels' relationship with Venezuela and Ecuador (but I am going to skip picking on Hugo Chávez this time).
The documents detail two years of painstaking research into 30 years' worth of important communications and recent emails belonging to FARC leader Luis Edgar Devía Silva, whose nom de guerre was Raul Reyes. He was killed in a raid in 2008, allowing the Colombian Army to capture several laptops, hard drives and many documents. (Question: Why does a top commander in a guerilla force keep such detailed accounts? My answer: He was a wannabe Che.)
The IISS, after exhaustive analysis, has come to some very interesting and, for the presidents of Ecuador and Venezuela, very embarrassing conclusions.
For those of my readers not very familiar with FARC, their acronym in English stands for “Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia,” and the organization has been designated as a terrorist entity by both the USA and the European Union. They have deeply Marxist roots and have been responsible for the killings of thousand of police, civilians and military personnel while being financed mostly by protecting the Cocaine Cowboys and their laboratories along with building and protecting clandestine airstrips in the jungles of Colombia. In other words, they are “the Bad Guys.”
These bad guys apparently worked very closely with Venezuelan elected-president-turned-dictator Hugo Chávez, and now, to nobody’s surprise, it has been revealed that Rafael Correa’s election campaign was the beneficiary of some US$400,000 that the IISS is certain Rafael Correa was fully aware of.
The following is excerpted from a report about the IISS study:
The institute also found that FARC began establishing strongholds in Ecuador's border regions next to Colombia in the 1990s, where the rebels produced and sold cocaine for income.
Unlike the redoubts it enjoyed in Colombia, FARC found Ecuador "downright hostile" at first, but as Ecuadorian politics moved left, FARC enjoyed better ties and "was successful in fomenting discord between Ecuador and Colombia," the study said.
In 2006, FARC contributed about $400,000 to the campaign of successful Ecuadorian presidential candidate Rafael Correa -- with $100,000 apparently directly from the rebel group and $300,000 more from its allies, the report alleged, the allies being the cocaine producers in the region under FARC control.
"Correa almost certainly approved the use of these funds in his campaign, but this did not translate into a policy of state support for the insurgents during the brief period between Correa's inauguration and Reyes's death," the study said. "Although the death of Reyes provoked a serious breach in relations between Colombia and Ecuador -- ironically a key FARC strategic objective -- it also interrupted FARC's burgeoning relationship with Quito. There is no evidence that the relationship has since prospered."
In an interview with the Spanish-language EFE news service, a member of President Correa's administration, Deputy Foreign Minister Kintto Lucas, called the alleged FARC campaign contributions "totally false" and dismissed the credibility of FARC's computer records.
"We always said we did not recognize the hard drives. We do not know if they really are real or invented," Lucas told EFE. He said that a broken chain of custody for the records could have allowed any intelligence agency to invent the information.
"We will not recognize any information on these because they have no truth," Lucas told EFE.
Yesterday, May 15, 2011, el presidente de Ecuador offered to take a lie detector test to prove his ignorance in this matter. He is also fully aware that he enjoys complete immunity, as president of his nation, where nobody can force him to take the so-called lie detector test; and since they are notoriously unreliable, should he actually take and fail the polygraph, he can always use the standard excuses that both guilty and innocent subjects have claimed: that they were completely intimidated by all the gadgetry attached to their person. And then, of course, there is the oldest method of beating a lie detector, and that is 20 milligrams of Valium taken 30 minutes prior to the test. Perhaps that is why no court in the USA or EU accepts results of polygraph examination into evidence in a court of law.
These accusations could not have come at a worse time for Mr. Correa, as his proposal that went in front of Ecuador’s electorate 10 days ago is rife with fraud, fear mongering and an ever-so-slow counting, with missing ballots from areas known to oppose his power grab. It reminds me of the recent elections for a supreme court justice in Wisconsin, with all of its broken chain of custody problems.
Stay tuned for uncertainty in the lovely country of Ecuador that has so much to offer, yet so many social issues to contend with.
San Rafael, Mendoza
Where the Malbec Wine is Always Fine!
[Image of President Correa via Wikipedia]
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