Colombia sent Ecuador a diplomatic note reiterating its support for armed forces commander General Freddy Padilla, after Ecuador re-opened legal proceedings against him over Colombia’s 2008 cross-border raid on a FARC camp, in which guerrilla leader “Raul Reyes” was killed, El Espectador reports.
The note follows a statement made by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe on Wednesday in which he defended the general.
“It is inexplicable that the sister republic Ecuador through its administration of justice insists on linking ex-ministers and top officials with criminals when they have done a heroic job against terrorism,” the president said at a ceremony attended by members of Ministry of the Interior and Justice.
“Who is the criminal, General Padilla or Reyes?”
Uribe added that he was pleased that Ecuador was helping out in the fight against drug traffickers and guerrillas and stated that “we from our hearts want the full restoration of relations.”
The president has previously defended Colombian military officials, including President-elect Juan Manuel Santos, who are subject to criminal investigations in Ecuador over the bombing on Ecuadorean soil. Santos was defense minister at the time of the 2008 raid.
The incident led to the freezing of diplomatic relations between the neighboring Andean nations, with Ecuador claiming that Colombia had undermined its sovereignty.