Colombia closed its border with Ecuador after authorities in the neighboring country declared a five-day state of emergency to counter what Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa called a coup d’etat.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos decided to close the border after talking to President Alan Garcia of Peru, who is also closing his country’s frontier with Ecuador. The measure is “like a political sign of solidarity with president Correa,” Santos said before leaving for Argentina where South American union Unasur is holding an emergency meeting on the developments in Ecuador.
In a press release issued earlier, Santos said he hopes a peaceful solution will be reached quickly in the neighboring country, and that order will be restored. The Colombian leader announced that he had attempted to reach his Ecuadorean counterpart by phone to express his support for the president, “who was elected democratically by the people of Ecuador.”
Colombia and Ecuador have had a strained relationship in recent years, since Colombia carried out a bombing raid on a FARC camp in Ecuadorean territory in March 2008. An Ecuadorean court issued an arrest warrant against Juan Manuel Santos before he won the presidency, for his role as defense minister at the time of the attack, but the warrant was revoked after he took power in August.
Santos has made moves to improve ties with Quito, handing over computer files seized from the FARC camp that belonged to rebel leader “Raul Reyes.” Ecuador had for a long time demanded access to the files, as they allegedly contained evidence of Ecuadorean collaboration with the FARC.