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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Correa Says Commission Will Investigate Alleged FARC Influence

By Stephan Kueffner

July 18 (Bloomberg) -- Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said an investigation into a Colombian raid inside Ecuador also will probe allegations of ties between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and Correa’s government and political party.

Correa said a commission reviewing last year’s attack on a camp set up by the FARC, as the rebel group is known, near Angostura in Ecuador’s Amazon territory will investigate whether the rebels contributed to his 2006 election campaign.

“They can investigate whether the candidate or campaign ever got as much as 20 cents from the FARC or any other foreign source,” Correa said today in his regular Saturday radio-and- television broadcast.

Correa made the comments in response to the release by the Associated Press yesterday of a video showing the group’s second-in-command saying the FARC had contributed to his campaign. The video shows Jorge Briceno, known by his alias of Mono Jojoy, telling a group of rebels that the FARC provided “assistance in dollars to Correa’s campaign,” AP reported.

Documents the Colombian military found on a laptop during the Angostura raid show evidence of payments of at least $100,000, the news service added.

Correa has said any contact his government has had with the FARC was for strictly humanitarian reasons related to the release of hostages. Today he reiterated that he has never met anyone from the FARC. Ecuador’s Security Minister Miguel Carvajal said yesterday neither the government nor the campaign received any funds from the guerrilla group.

Colombian police found the video in the computer of an alleged rebel arrested in May, AP said.

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