The people of Ecuador are rising up to refound their country as a pluri-national homeland for all. This inspiring movement, with Ecuador's indigenous peoples at its heart, is part of the revolution spreading across the Americas, laying the groundwork for a new, fairer, world. Ecuador Rising aims to bring news and analysis of events unfolding in Ecuador to english speakers.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Ecuadorian Government protests assassination of Raul Reyes in Ecuador

Communique of the Government of Ecuador

Quito, March 1, 2008 .- In the early hours of Saturday, March 1, Colombian military aircraft and army troops and police raided Ecuadorian territory, in the province of Sucumbios, approximately 3 kilometres south of the river Putumayo, and after confronting members of the FARC, killed seventeen people, among them senior leaders of that Colombian irregular force. As part of the events, forces of the Colombian State entered the territory of Ecuador, took several bodies and took them to Colombia. Investigations by the Ecuadorian armed forces have succeeded in identifying these facts on the basis of statements of residents of the area and data collected by Ecuadorian military units that arrived hours later to the scene of the incident. The authorities of Ecuador did not know in advance of the Colombian o
peration nor did they give their permission for it to be conducted or for the force of that country to enter the national territory.

Ecuador has knowledge of the political, legal and social implications of the Colombian conflict, and has deplored the severe impact it has had on society in the neighbouring country for decades, and does not support the violent tactics used by irregular groups. Within the framework of international law, the State has worked with Colombian authorities on actions within the laws of the two countries and human rights. Unfortunately, this bilateral cooperation does not apply to the facts described, which therefore means the violation of the territorial integrity and the legal system in Ecuador.

The National Government will send today a strongly worded protest to the Government of Colombia for the flagrant violation of the territory of the Republic of Ecuador, which constitutes a violation of the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity contained in international law. Ecuador
will demand from Colombia an explanation for the abuses of its military forces, will require a formal apology for what has happened and, for any possible damage to people and property of residents within Ecuadorian territory, require the payment of appropriate compensation. If appropriate, Ecuador will approach international bodies to seek assurances that its inhabitants and the country's territorial integrity and sovereign rights are protected.

The Government of Ecuador is deeply disappointed by the actions of the Colombian forces. At the same time, it rejects the presence of Colombian irregular groups in the country, in violation of the laws of Ecuador. The Government of Ecuador reiterates its firm decision not to allow the territory of the nation to be used by others to carry out military operations or to use as a base of operations, as part of the Colombian conflict. Ecuador will use all available security resources to prevent these circumstances from recurring. No regular or irregular military force can act on the territory of Ecuador, in accordance with its right to self-defence and security, without being repelled, captured and put to justice in for intruding with arms on the territory of the country or establishing therein activities outside the law.

The Government of Ecuador once again calls for a peaceful solution to the internal conflict in Colombia, within the laws of that country and with respect for human rights and international humanitarian law. We call for the irregular groups and Colombian state to find the path towards a political understanding to prevent the consequences of violence to Colombian society. In the same vein, and for eminently humanitarian reasons, we hope for the early release of the hostages held by the irregular groups and the guarantee of their well-being. The Republic of Ecuador will remain evet-ready to contribute in every effort for peace and humanitarian understanding in Colombia. / Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Saturday, March 1, 2008

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