Colombia: Evidence suggests Chavez gave FARC $300M
Colombia: Evidence suggests Chavez gave FARC $300M
* Story Highlights
* NEW: Colombia: Evidence says Chavez paid FARC,
received $100 million pesos
* Colombian president reiterates "affection and
respect" for Venezuela, Ecuador
* Troops in Ecuador, Venezuela being sent to
Colombian border after raid
* Colombia says it won't send troops to its
southwest, northeast borders
(CNN) -- Evidence found in computers seized in a raid
over the weekend suggests that Venezuelan President
Hugo Chavez recently gave the leftist Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia $300 million, Colombia's
national police chief said Monday.
Speaking at a news conference, Gen. Oscar Naranjo also
said evidence in the computers suggests FARC had given
Chavez 100 million pesos when he was a jailed rebel
FARC has fought to overthrow the Colombian government
for 40 years.
Chavez had no immediate response to the allegations
Naranjo said other evidence in the computers suggests
FARC purchased 50 kilograms of uranium this month.
Meanwhile, Colombia said Monday it won't send troops
to its southwest and northeast borders, where
Venezuelan and Ecuadoran military forces were to be
separately deployed after a Colombian raid into
Ecuador. Video Watch what led to attack »
The Saturday raid, which Ecuador's President Rafael
Correa said violated his nation's airspace, left two
Colombian rebels dead.
Correa said he was "disposed to go to the ultimate
consequences" in response to the raid, and Chavez said
he firmly stands behind Ecuador.
Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe said his government
"reiterates its affection and respect" for the
neighboring countries, according to a statement on a
government Web site.
Developments in the northern part of the continent
have rapidly unfolded since Saturday, when the
Colombian police and air force killed the FARC's
second-in-command, Luis Edgar Devia Silva, aka Raul
Reyes. The Colombian government described it as the
most significant blow yet to the rebels.
Colombia says its police and military attacked the
targets after its forces came under fire from FARC
rebels about a mile inside Ecuador.
Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos denied Colombia
had violated Ecuadoran airspace, but Correa and Chavez
assailed the raid as an infringement of Ecuador's
Chavez ordered 10 battalions of troops to the
Colombian border Sunday and closed Venezuela's embassy
in Bogota. He said Venezuela would have declared war
on Colombia if its troops had attacked targets in
Chavez called the attack "a cowardly murder" and
blamed the United States, a close ally of Colombia. He
further called Uribe a criminal, liar and gangster.
"We don't want war, but we will not allow the North
American empire -- which is the master -- and its
sub-President Uribe and the Colombian oligarchy to
divide, to weaken us," he said. "We will not allow
In a televised address Sunday, Correa called the raid
a "massacre" that killed numerous civilians.
Correa withdrew Ecuador's ambassador to Colombia,
expelled Colombia's ambassador to Ecuador and ordered
troops to the Colombian border. He said an apology
alone from Colombia will not suffice.
"We demand signed and formal promises made before the
international community that will guarantee that these
unacceptable actions will not be repeated," Correa
The attack killed Reyes and Guillermo Enrique Torres,
aka Julian Conrado, a key ideologue.
Correa said Saturday that Uribe told him the incident
occurred as Colombian troops were pursuing a FARC
column. He later said his troops learned that
Colombian planes struck the rebels as they slept in a
camp about a mile inside Ecuador.
Colombian ground forces then crossed into Ecuador and
retrieved Reyes' body, leaving the others, he said.
"We will not permit this outrage," he said. "The
situation is extremely grave, and the Ecuadoran
government is disposed to go to the ultimate
Correa spoke Sunday with the presidents of Argentina,
Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Spain, Mexico,
Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and
Venezuela "to share with them the gravity of the
situation," he said.
Venezuela is Colombia's neighbor to the northeast,
Ecuador to the southwest.
Correa and Chavez are two of several leftist
presidents who have been elected in Latin America in
recent years. Uribe is a rightist with close ties to
the United States.
Chavez is an outspoken U.S. foe who relied on his
leftist credentials to help secure the recent release
of six FARC hostages. It is estimated the rebel group
has about 750 hostages, many of whom have been held
for years in harsh conditions in the South American
FARC justifies hostage-taking as a legitimate military
tactic in a long-running civil war that includes
right-wing paramilitaries, government forces and drug
In Washington on Sunday, the White House said it was
monitoring the situation.
"This is an odd reaction by Venezuela to Colombia's
efforts against the FARC, a terrorist organization
that continues to hold Colombians, Americans and
others hostage," spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.
The United States, the European Union and Colombia
consider FARC a terrorist organization.