Chilean President Sebastian Piñera announced Monday that his country will join Colombia in investigating alleged links between the FARC and terrorist groups that operate in the Chilean region of Araucania.
Piñera told Chilean publication El Mercurio that he spoke with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos regarding the matter when he was in Bogota to attend the Colombian leader’s August 7 inauguration.
Piñera said that he and Santos had agreed to investigate “Chilean ties to the FARC” and to “work together to end the ties between Colombian terrorists and the groups that operate in Chile.”
The joint investigation will focus on a report that the Colombian Prosecutor General handed to the Chilean government that alleges suspected ties between the FARC and at least seven Chileans, including politicians Guillermo Tellier and Lautaro Carmona.
“A few years ago… we reported these ties and then many denied the evidence. Today it has been demonstrated that a link exists between Chilean terrorists and the FARC. Many people today owe explanations,” Piñera said.
The Chilean president added that all those implicated in the allegations “will have to explain to the country… not only those who have collaborated operationally with terrorist acts, but also those who have collaborated at a political level.”
Piñera claimed that there is sufficient proof the rebels operating in Araucania are linked to the FARC and said Chile will have no hesitation in fighting terrorism.
According to the dossier that the Colombian Prosecutor General handed to its Chilean counterpart, the leaders of Chilean group Coordinadora Arauco-Malleco – an organization which seeks land rights for Chilean indigenous group the Mapuche – received training from the FARC in Colombia.
The dossier reportedly includes testimony from former FARC guerrillas, as well as documents seized from Mapuche leaders and from the files of deceased FARC leader “Raul Reyes.”
Both Mapuche leaders and the Chilean politicians implicated have denied the allegations.