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Official Announcement

March 31, 2008

1. The Government of Colombia does not accept the claim filed by the Government of Ecuador before the International Court of Justice regarding the crop-dustings at the border between the two countries.

2. FARC have been the greatest promoters of illegal crops throughout the national territory and they manipulate the population into protesting against any initiative to eradicate such crops. We have 40 documented cases since 2004 in which FARC have attacked the Public Forces from Ecuadorian territory, and during such events 26 people were killed, soldiers and policemen among them. Other 18 people were wounded and a soldier was kidnapped.

3. Colombia accepted, notwithstanding the gravity of the presence of illegal crops at the border, that it would not crop-dust within a 10 kilometer strip in Colombian territory, and that it would incentive manual eradication programs instead, despite the risks this implies to the human lives involved.

4. In a meeting held by Presidents Álvaro Uribe and Rafael Correa on January 14, during the installment of President Álvaro Colom of Guatemala, President Uribe confirmed the offer to indemnify those citizens of Ecuador who were affected by the crop-dusting in accordance with the laws of Colombia. However, the authorities of Ecuador never submitted a concrete request regarding damages against its population.

5. President Rafael Correa demanded at the time a written commitment to never again crop-dust within a 10 kilometer-wide strip in Colombian territory, in order to refrain from submitting the claim against our country. To this regard, President Uribe manifested his intention to intensify the manual eradication programs in the area, but he estimated it was inappropriate to commit to the suspension of the crop-dusting without a time limit, especially because of the risks and costs in safety issues and human lives involved in manual eradication programs.

6. Based on these arguments, President Rafael Correa agreed to implement an agreement between the two parties through the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, an agreement that was never subscribed despite the insistence of the corresponding Ministry of Colombia.

7. It must be recalled that it was only last February when FARC terrorists activated landmines from Ecuador, which killed one Officer and three soldiers who were protecting the manual eradicators in Colombian territory.

8. Colombia has always carried out the crop-dusting based on the international protocols which take into account the altitude of the flights, the speed and direction of the winds and the drifting effect, among others, fully respecting the sovereignty of Ecuador on its territory.

Bogotá, March 31, 2008.
Documents 2008

Confidence en Colombia
Social cohesion - Based on freedoms

Investment based - On social responsability

Security - Based on democracy
38 Assembly General OAS