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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Ecuador rejects provocative charges against Correa by Colombia

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Colombia Reports, July 8, 2009

Ecuador rejects the legal actions of Colombian lawyers against Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa for his alleged links to the FARC. It "only deepens the political differences between the two countries", Ecuador's Foreign Minister said Wednesday.

The denouncement against Correa is only a "political action" in response to the arrest warrant against Colombia's former Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Fando Falconi claimed.

Ecuador is a peaceful country which respects human rights. Ecuador is firmly committed to peaceful settlement of disputes and to International Law, Falconi said. "We have never assaulted the Republic of Colombia in any way. But Colombia assaulted Ecuador by bombing our territory without permission."

Falconi added that "Ecuador has suffered many attacks by the Colombian government and rebel groups [...] and it will not allow that somebody from outside intends to restrict the right to seek truth and justice. The arrest warrant against a Colombian citizen [Santos] is part of a legitimate judicial process which complies with all legal and constitutional requirements of due process. Ecuador will continue its course without interference."

Ever since the March, 2008 bombing, the diplomatic relations between Colombia and Ecuador are tense.

First, Ecuador sued Colombia for the death of Ecuadorean citizen Franklin Aisalla during the bombing of the FARC camp on Ecuadorean territory last year, claiming that it was an extrajudicial execution carried out by the Colombian military. Colombia denied its responsibility.

Then, an Ecuadorean judge issued an arrest warrant against Santos for being responsible for the bombing. Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe heavily rejected the arrest warrant saying that the judge is a terrorist ally and staging a coup in Colombia.

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