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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Ecuadorian confesses to writing FARC diaries

Colombia Reports, October 6, 2009

Colombia news - Raul Reyes

Ecuadorian journalist and writer Julio Cesar Vizuete, captured Friday near the Colombian border, has confessed to writing the alleged diaries of slain FARC second-in-command Raul Reyes.

The prosecutor's office of Sucumbios province, Ecuador, confirmed Vizuete's capture and said that the validity and authorship of writings that up until now had been attributed to Raul Reyes were under investigation, Santa Fe Radio reports.

Vizuete told authorities that the writings were a faithful reflection of the thoughts and life of Reyes, and that what he transcribed "was what Reyes did.

"All expressions in the notebooks were what he was saying and there is digital audio and video support, but who knows where it is," Vizuete said in his statement to the prosecution, reported news source CMI. He claimed that meetings held with the guerrilla typically lasted two to four days and were held in Colombian territory.

"The only thing of which I am absolutely certain is that our work meetings were held on the banks of the Rio San Miguel," and that their first meeting was in November 2006 and their last, twelve days before Reyes was killed.

After the meetings, Vizuete said, before heading back to revise the materials, both the manuscript and digital back-up copies of the conversations "were given to Reyes to keep safe."

The existence of the notebooks was announced in late July by the government of Ecuador. They then conducted handwriting analyses and determined that the handwriting was not, in fact, that of Luis Edgar Devia, alias Raul Reyes.

Reyes was killed when the Colombian army bombed a FARC encampment inside Ecuador's borders, along with at least 25 others, including an Ecuadorian and four Mexican students.

In the diaries the names of Ecuador's former Minister of Internal and External Security, Gustavo Larrea, and his former Undersecretary Jose Ignacio Chauvin, who have both denied the versions of events as they appear in the manuscripts. The appearance of their names was considered by some members of President Rafael Correa's opposition as evidence of the government's ties to Colombian guerrillas. However, this has been dismissed as "a plot" to discredit the goverment.

Vizuete said that in all of his alleged conversations with Reyes, the former FARC commander "never referred to Correa as having received any kind of guerrilla support."

The prosecutor's office is reviewing the evidence "to see if there are more authors or accessories that somehow relate to the case."

Vizuete is being held in pretrial detention in Quito.

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