Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez secretly invited him to capture FARC Secretariat member “Ivan Marquez,” who is suspected to be on Venezuelan territory.
In an four-point statement, the former head of state claims that Chavez told him “come up with something against Marquez, similar to that of [FARC leader Rodrigo] Granda, but let no one know that I said so.”
Granda was arrested in Venezuela and surrendered to Colombian authorities in 2007. He was later released to take part in an attempt to negotiate an exchange of prisoners.
Uribe said that Jaime Bermudez, Colombia’s former foreign minister, and Carolina Barco, former Colombian Ambassador the U.S., were witnesses to this exchange which took place in Trinidad.
FARC official Rodrigo Granda was captured in the Venezuelan capital in 2003, although Colombian forces initially claimed that he was detained on Colombian territory. According to Wiki-Leaks cables Uribe authorized Colombian forces to carry out clandestine anti-FARC operations in Venezuela.
Uribe also stated that his requests to carry out intelligence work in the neighboring country fell on deaf ears.
“I myself handed over to him the coordinates of encampments … he told me that nothing had been found … I replied it was necessary to do intelligence before sending soldiers, silence.”
Furthermore Uribe asserts that Chavez was not forthcoming in wanting to eject the FARC from Venezuelan territory in the hope that this would “contribute to peace in Colombia.”