Posted by Kirsten Begg on Nov 9, 2009 Leave a comment

FARC begins diplomatic offensive abroad

Rodrigo granda

The FARC’s unofficial Foreign Minister Rodrigo Granda is re-establishing ties in Central America and Europe that were broken with the death of guerrilla leader ‘Raul Reyes’, newspaper El Tiempo reported Monday.

Granda has held “at least four meetings in the region,” according to “unconfirmed reports,” El Tiempo reported Monday. The guerrilla leader also held a video conference in the south of Spain four months ago. His increased international presence has led El Tiempo to speculate that Granda is attempting to pick up where late FARC commander ‘Raul Reyes’ left off.

‘Raul Reyes’ was killed by the Colombian military in a raid on a FARC camp in Ecuador in March 2008. He was the FARC’s self-proclaimed Foreign Minister, responsible for managing the guerrilla group’s international network of contacts. With his death many ties were presumably lost. Granda is now purportedly attempting to re-establish these ties.

The FARC leader was captured at the beginning of 2005 in Venezuela but was released by the Colombian government in 2007 to help in the humanitarian exchange of political prisoners for FARC hostages, following the suggestion of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Paraguay issued an international arrest warrant for Granda, who it holds responsible for the abduction and murder of the daughter of the country’s former President Raul Cubas.