Colombian Raid of FARC in Ecuador Escalates Conflict

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Colombia crossed the border into Ecuador to conduct a deadly assault against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel camp over the weekend. Colombia's government says Venezuela and Ecuador have secretly supported Colombian rebels. Ecuador's government is furious over the military raid. Guests discuss the Venezuela and Ecuador's growing conflict with Colombia.

Guests:

Julia Sweig, senior fellow and director of Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations; author of Friendly Fire: Losing Friends and Making Enemies in the Anti-American Century

Michael Evans, director of the Colombia Documentation Project at the National Security Archive

Colombia Levels Charges After Raiding Ecuador

Fresh rhetoric follows a weekend raid in Ecuador by the Colombian military. Colombia's government says Venezuela and Ecuador have secretly supported Colombian rebels. But Ecuador's government is furious after a Colombian military raid inside Ecuadoran territory last weekend.

Colombian officials say the operation targeted Colombian rebels who had taken refuge across the border. Venezuela joined Ecuador in condemning the operation. But the Colombian government is now charging that both its neighbors have been secretly supporting the Colombian rebels.

The dispute arose at the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, when Ecuador's foreign minister demanded that the OAS condemn Colombia's incursion as a violation of Ecuador's sovereignty.

But Colombia says it was Ecuador that acted illegally, by providing sanctuary to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — the FARC, by its initials in Spanish.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is an ally of the FARC; in response to the raid, he sent tanks to the border with Colombia. Colombian officials say intelligence information seized in the raid shows that Chavez has given hundreds of millions of dollars to the FARC.

Colombia also claims to have uncovered evidence that the FARC has been dealing in uranium, which could be used to make radioactive dirty bombs.

The FARC has long been deeply engaged in drug trafficking. Last night, a senior U.S. official said the group may be trying to smuggle the radioactive material into the United States to sell to terrorist groups.

Tensions between the Andean countries are high, but the crisis is not expected to last. Reports from Venezuela indicate that the border with Colombia is likely to reopen today.

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