Ecuador revokes Santos arrest warrant

An Ecuadorean court on Monday revoked its arrest warrant for Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos but will continue to investigate his role in the 2008 FARC camp raid on Ecuadorean territory.

Ecuadorean Judge Daniel Mendez ruled that the warrant for Santos’ arrest violated the principle of legal equality, given that former commander of the Colombian armed forces General Freddy Padilla and Colombian police chief Oscar Naranjo are also both under investigation over the 2008 raid but no warrant for their arrests has been issued.

“The arrest warrant for Juan Manuel Santos has been revoked so that there are conditions of equality but that doesn’t mean the case is closed, the process will continue,” Medez said.

The Ecuadorean judge issued the warrant at the end of June for Santos’ alleged culpability for the 2008 raid, because he was Colombian defense minister at the time of the incursion.

Since he assumed the presidency on August 7, Santos has enjoyed diplomatic immunity and can travel to Ecuador without fear of being apprehended.

Ecuador broke ties with Colombia following the 2008 incident in which FARC leader “Raul Reyes” was killed, on the grounds that Colombia had contravened Ecuador’s sovereignty.

The two countries began to repair relations in the second half of 2009, but Ecuador said it would not fully restore ties until Colombia handed over files found on Raul Reyes’ computer that allegedly contain evidence of collaboration between the Ecuadorean government and the FARC. The government of then-Colombian President Alvaro Uribe refused to hand them over.

Santos ordered the files be given to Ecuador when he assumed the presidency.

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