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Reply of the Ministry of External Affairs to the Government of Ecuador

March 2, 2008

The Ministry of External Affairs has the honour to present its compliments to the Honorable Ministry of External Affairs of the Republic of Ecuador and, in relation to Verbal Note N° 10230 of March 1, wishes to express the following: 

Due to intelligence reports an operation was prepared to take by surprise a place in the Colombian territory where the terrorists of Raul Reyes were located. At the moment when the helicopter units of the Public Force were nearing the site, they received heavy fire from guerrilla located in our territory and fighting started. It is at that moment, when the units  were attacked from a place located at less than 1.800 mts. from the border, in Ecuadorian territory. 

The Colombian units reacted and used their force towards the place from where they were being attacked.
The military action left at least 12 guerrilla dead, among them the terrorist also known as Raúl Reyes, who ocupied one of the highest positions of FARC.

It was essential that the Colombian troops entered the Ecuadorian Territory to register the site from where they were receiving shots and which they attacked. When they found bodies, among them Raul Reyes', they were brought to Colombian territory in order to avoid the guerrilla replacing them, in accordance to a practice used by them to accuse our forces of extra-legal executions. 

The above named Raúl Reyes was in charge of criminal operations in the south of our country for many years and secretly operating from the Ecuadorian territory without the consent of its Government. Those activities included crimes against humanity such as kidnapping, the use of landmines, recruiting of minors, and others,  such as weapon, ammunition, explosives and drug trafficking which have been illustrated and endorsed by national and international institutions in charge of fighting against crimes. 

Both of our countries were victims of planned actions  organized by this terrorist: for example, in June 1993 they attacked 6 Ecuadorian boats, killing 1 Major, 1 Captain and 23 Policemen. Just last month, on February 14 and 26 in the Department of Putumayo, two Colombian sergeant majors and three soldiers were murdered; they were protecting the eradicators of illicit crops. 

The Government of the Republic of Colombia wishes to present to the Illustrious Government of the Republic of Ecuador its apologies for the action which had to be done in the border zone, consisting in the entry of Colombian helicopters with Army personnel to Ecuadorian territory, to register the site. In this action, the body of Raul Reyes, of another guerrilla and some personal elements were seized, as well as a great deal of documentation and correspondence from the terrorist and 3 computers.

The Colombian Government has never intended to nor willingly disrespected or injured the sovereignty of the Republic of Ecuador, its people or its authorities for whom it has historically professed affection and admiration.
Likewise, it wishes to reiterate to the Republic of Ecuador its desire to progress in the development of cooperation mechanisms against terrorism which has caused thousands of victims in our country and indescribable suffering to our people. This cooperation may be implemented using multilateral and bilateral instruments whcih have been adopted by our countries and which would prevent the abuse committed by the invader terrorists and bloodshed in Colombia. 

It should be remembered that the Colombian Government stopped the aspersion of illicit crops in the border zones at the Ecuadorian Governmnet's request and that it has substituted this mechanism with manual eradication, with a high cost in human lives because of the FARC terrorists under the direction of Raul Reyes. 
Likewise, it reiterates its decision to bring forward the relevant procedures to indemnify the Ecuadorian citizens which could have resulted affected in the actions described above, over which we have not had any information at present. 

The Ministry of External Affairs reiterates to the Honorable Ministry of External Affairs of Ecuador the assurances of its highest considerations.

Bogotá, D. C., March 2, 2008
Documents 2008

Confidence en Colombia
Social cohesion - Based on freedoms

Investment based - On social responsability

Security - Based on democracy
38 Assembly General OAS