Colombian authorities on Thursday denied Ecuadorean press allegations that they collaborated with CIA spies in the bombardment of ‘Raul Reyes’ FARC camp.
Ecuadorean newspaper El Comercio suggested that Ecuadorian Julio Rivera Cesar alias ‘Pirata’, who was killed when Colombian security forces bombed the guerrilla camp on March 1 2008, had been in contact with the CIA and Colombian intelligence agencies prior to the operation.
El Comercio further stated that the CIA were able to contact ‘Pirata’ and Franklin Aisalla, a guerrilla who also died in the bombardment and was the alleged partner of ‘Nubia Calderon’ – one of the leaders of the FARC International Front.
‘Pirata’, according to the paper, moved easily through FARC networks but was in reality, serving the CIA and Colombian intelligence and was able to gain intimate access to the FARC boss ‘Raul Reyes’.
Colombian sources responded to the press suggestions by claiming that they had not been in contact with any foreign intelligence regarding the bombardment, known as operation ‘Phoenix’, and claimed that it was not based on information delivered by ‘Pirata’.
Colombia further assured that information about operation ‘Phoenix’ had never been shared and due to its confidential nature it was handled solely by Colombian authorities.
These authorities claimed that even if ‘Pirata’ was an important informant, he would not have had access to ‘Raul Reyes’ himself, much less be able to disclose his location and turn him in. They assured that ‘Phoenix’ was a distinctly Colombian operation.