Colombia’s foreign minister on Wednesday tried to convince the Organization of American States (OAS) of a conspiracy theory that ties Venezuela’s government, ELN guerrillas and FARC dissidents together.
This new theory followed the recent call to rearm by the FARC’s former peace negotiator, “Ivan Marquez,” who announced he abandoned the peace deal last month citing noncompliance of the government of President Ivan Duque.
Since then, the government has been promoting a conspiracy theory claiming that the Colombian guerrillas and the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro are working together and that Cuba is harboring terrorists.
Trujillo’s conspiracy theory
Multiple sources have claimed that the ELN has been colluding with Venezuela’s armed forces have existed since before the Duque administration took office in August last year, but Marquez did not announce he abandoned the peace process opposed by the president’s far-right Democratic Center party until a few weeks ago.
According to the Colombian government, Marquez has teamed up with the ELN and Maduro, a claim that is not confirmed by any credible evidence.
To support his conspiracy theory of “this new threat against peace and security on the continent,” the foreign minister revived a claim from 2002 that guerrilla group FARC, which demobilized in 2017, had camps in the Venezuelan border state Zulia.
Additionally, the minister revived a claim from 2008 that demobilized FARC leader “Rodrigo Granda” had ties to late President Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013.
The minister additionally showed maps that would demonstrate that of the ELN’s “2,402 armed men,” 43% would be sheltered in as many as 50 camps on the Venezuelan side of the border.
The number of guerrillas in these alleged camps contradict claims made earlier this year by the Armed Forces commander who said the ELN had 2,300 fighters, and Duque’s defense plan, which said the guerrillas had 4,000 fighters.
‘Direct criminal threat against democracy in Colombia’
The allegedly joined forces of “the dictatorship” of Maduro, the ELN and Marquez would pose “a direct criminal threat against democracy in Colombia,” Trujillo told the OAS.
On Tuesday, the foreign minister warned Cuba that he would formally complain the socialist country was harboring terrorists and on Wednesday the minister told the OAS that Venezuela was colluding with “narcoterrorists.”
Duque has been under increasing pressure in Colombia and abroad to end his resistance against the implementation of the 2016 peace deal with the FARC that is opposed by the president’s far-right Democratic Center party.
While the country’s opposition and the center right voting block have claimed that the government’s noncompliance has been fueling violence in Colombia and triggered the rearmament of Marquez, the government is apparently trying to pin the blame on Venezuela.