Los Angeles Times

Tensions linger between Colombia and Ecuador

Jul 13--Ecuador announces stiff tariffs on hundred of Colombian imports, apparently the latest retaliatory measure in the countries' dispute over a 2008 raid into Ecuadorean territory.

13 de julio de 2009

Ecuador today will begin imposing stiff tariffs on hundreds of Colombian imports, the latest round in a festering dispute between the neighbors.

The tariffs could affect at least one-third of the $1.6 billon in annual Colombian exports to Ecuador. The Ecuadorean government said the measure was put in place to compensate for a recent devaluation of the Colombian peso.

But observers say there is little doubt that it is the latest in a series of retaliatory measures by both countries since Colombia sparked a regional crisis with its brief incursion into Ecuadorean territory in March 2008 to kill a high-ranking leftist rebel leader.

Ecuador's move follows the unusual filing of murder charges last month by a local judge against former Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos, who planned the incursion last year that left more than 20 people dead in addition to Raul Reyes, a leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
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