Uribe told Mexico’s Televisa network the students were “accomplices of terrorism” — jumping into a debate in Mexico about whether the students were justified in visiting the guerrilla camp.The March 1 raid that killed 25 people, including a senior rebel commander, caused a crisis in relations with Ecuador that has not yet healed, despite a Latin American summit at which Uribe pledged not to repeat such a raid and apologized for it.But Uribe never expressed regret over the raid — and he said Wednesday that he still thinks it was necessary to bomb the rebel camp in Ecuador because fighters there had launched explosives that killed soldiers destroying coca plants in his country.”I don’t regret it, in no way could I regret” carrying out the attack, said Uribe, who is in Cancun, Mexico, for the World Economic Forum.”It would have been ideal not to have had to bomb a (foreign) territory,” Uribe said, but he argued that those who really violated Ecuador’s sovereignty were the rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, who set up camp there.Ecuador cut off diplomatic ties following the attack and its president, Rafael Correa, has said he is not satisfied with Uribe’s response.He said the Mexican students who died were seen in a video with the guerrillas that indicated they were “accomplices of terrorism.”Uribe said Mexican Lucia Morett, who was wounded in the attack, should explain what they were doing in the camp. Morett, 26, remains in Ecuador and her family says she is seeking political asylum because she fears Mexican officials may prosecute her on terrorism charges.Many Mexican news commentators suggested the students were supporters of the rebels. But Morett and other students’ families denied involvement in the FARC, saying they traveled to Ecuador for a leftist political conference before visiting the rebel camp for academic reasons.”What were they doing?” Uribe asked. “They were not doing humanitarian work. They were not hostages. So why were they there? They were there as accomplices of this activity. They were there as agent of terrorism.”Mexican President Felipe Calderon met with Uribe on Tuesday and reiterated that his country wants a full investigation into the deaths of the students. Calderon also offered to help Colombia re-establish its ties with Ecuador.
Colombia Reports relies on your financial support. Please become our patron and support independent reporting from Colombia.