Colombia’s foreign minister on Friday rejected the decision by a north-Ecuadorean court to start a murder trial against (former) Colombian military commanders in charge of the 2008 cross-border raid that killed FARC commander “Raul Reyes” and 24 others.
The court from the border Sucumbios province, where the March 1 attack took place, called Colombia’s former armed forces commander, its current national police commissioner, and the former commanders of the army and navy to trial.
“The Government of Colombia categorically rejects that decision and dismisses the actions and competence of foreign judicial authorities against those who carried out a legitimate operation in the defense of national security and the civilian population,” the minister said in a press statement published on her website.
According to the Colombian government, the cross-border raid was carried out by “the Colombian state under international humanitarian law….against a FARC camp that carries out terrorist activities against the Colombian population. This operation, we repeat, constitutes the act of a State against recognized international terrorists,” the press release said.
The attack has been controversial since the beginning and forced Colombia to admit in 2008 it had breached international law by carrying out the cross-border attack without informing Ecuadorean authorities. The military action was rejected by the Organization of American States.
Following the attack, the Ecuadorean government cut ties with Colombia until September 2010. Quito has since spoken out against the decision of the Sucumbios court to prosecute Colombian officials that initially included President Juan Manuel Santos who at the time of the raid was Defense Minister.