Colombia’s police on Tuesday opened a National Nuclear Security Center to “detect and respond to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction,” in response to alleged FARC plans to purchase uranium.
Police General Rafael Parra said that the center had been planned following the discovery of a plot to bring uranium from Europe to Colombian, found on computer drives seized from the camp of slain FARC commander “Raul Reyes.”
According to the President’s Office, this nuclear security center is the first and only in South America and will be at the service of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the United Nations.
The center was opened just days after Russia signed a deal to build a nuclear power plant in Venezuela.
Colombian authorities in 2008 claimed to have found 30 kilograms of uranium that allegedly belonged to the country’s largest guerrilla group FARC.
The nuclear center is located inside the headquarters of the judicial and intelligence branch of the police in the capital Bogota. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez earlier on Tuesday responded angrily to perceived suggestions by the Colombian media that Venezuela is now a nuclear threat, and is violating the non-proliferation agreement.