Ecuadorian military capured the rebels in the Piñuña Blanco region in the north of the country, on the Ecuadorian bank of the Putamaya River, which marks the border between Ecuador and Colombia.
Colombian President Juan Manual Santos, announced the news in Caqueta, southern Colombia, where he was presenting on Colombia’s ‘Rivers of Light’ demobilization program, and highlighted the importance of Ecuador’s cooperation in the capture, and in Colombia’s fight against the FARC.
Santos said, “This is an example of how with cooperation, in this case with Ecuador, we can fight more effectively against the FARC.”
The news of the capture came just two days after President Santos visited with Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa in the country’s capital Quito, to renew diplomatic relations.
Relations between the neighboring countries were ruptured in March 2008, under former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, when FARC leader Paul Reyes was killed by Colombian armed forces in a geurrilla camp in Ecuador. Computers belonging to Reyes seized at the time indicated that President Correa acted with leniency towards the rebel group.
Similar accusations have been made against President Hugo Chavez of Colombia’s eastern neighbor Venezuela, though both presidents are now outspoken in their support of Colombia’s fight against the rebel group. President Chavez has begun to deport leaders of Colombian rebel and drug trafficking groups to face charges in Colombia.
The Ecuadorian government is expected to announce within hours the fate of the captured rebels. It is thought they will be deported to Colombia to face trial there.