The relationship between Colombia and southern neighbor Ecuador
continues to be shaky as Ecuador accuses the Colombian government of
failing to cooperate when attempts are made at restoring diplomatic ties.
Ecuador issued a statement on Sunday, responding to remarks made by Colombia’s defense minister Juan Manuel Santos. The minister had said that Ecuador hasn’t been working hard enough to fight against the FARC.
For Quito, those statements were enough to warrant a reply, saying that “the declarations of Mr. Santos reaffirm, once again, the lack of seriousness of Colombia in its willingness to improve the climate of trust between the two countries”.
Santos claims to have handed Ecuador exact data on guerrilla camps located on Ecuadorian territory, and that nothing was done with that information. Ecuador struck back saying that Santos deliberately failed to mention that there have been eleven military operations against those camps since then. Moreover, Ecuador claims that some of the coordinates given by Santos were actually on Colombian territory.
The official statement went on to blame Colombia for its current situation. “Colombia forgets that it is the country with the highest cocaine production in the area and the country with the largest amount of irregular armed groups,” the Ecuadorean Foreign Ministry said.
“Ecuador meanwhile, controls its territory and permanently performs operations near the Colombian border. This year alone, the army executed 102 operations and the national police performed 175 actions.
According to Ecuador, the Colombian government is willing to normalize the relationship but only if “it doesn’t have to listen to the reasonable Ecuadorian demands.”
The relationship with Ecuador has been problematic since March 1st, when Colombia bombed a guerrilla camp on Ecuadorian territory without prior notice. FARC leader Raúl Reyes was killed in that attack.