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| 12/16/2009 12:00:00 AM

Ecuador Officials Linked to Colombia Rebels

Dec 16--Several former officials of the Ecuadorian government had ties with Colombia's Marxist guerrillas, a commission named by President Rafael Correa conceded Tuesday.

Ecuador Officials Linked to Colombia Rebels Ecuador Officials Linked to Colombia Rebels
The announcement is sure to stir up new questions about how deeply South America's political left, including Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, has aided a rebel force condemned worldwide as drug traffickers and terrorists. And it raises the risk, said the commission's coordinator, Francisco Huerta, that Ecuador is "becoming a narco-democracy."

Correa, a Chávez ally, set up the commission review last spring to independently investigate a controversial raid by Colombian commandos on a FARC camp in Angostura just inside Ecuador, as well as allegations that Ecuador was supporting the rebels. Colombia assaulted the camp on March 1, 2008, killing close to two dozen people, including "Raul Reyes", one of the guerilla's top commanders. The attack was criticized throughout Latin America for violating Ecuadorian territory. But the government of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe argued that laptops found by Colombian troops during the mission contained e-mails showing the FARC had close ties to several Ecuadorian and Venezuelan officials. (Chavez has since denied that his government ever provided financial or military resources to the guerrillas.)
 
Read more here.
 
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