Colombia will not hand over to Ecuador hard drives belonging to slain FARC leader “Raul Reyes,” which were captured in a raid on Ecuadorian territory, because the prosecutor general is using them as evidence, Colombia’s foreign minister said Sunday.
“I’m not going to go into details on this discussion, because this is precisely what we are discussing at the ‘Commission on Sensitive Subjects,'” Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez said, in response to Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa’s complaint that Colombia has not fulfilled its promise to hand over evidence seized in its 2008 FARC raid.
Despite his reluctance to comment, Bermudez did say that “definitively no country is going to receive [the hard evidence]. It is evidence that is part of the Colombia prosecutor general’s investigation.”
“The information on the computers that contains a concrete mention of countries has been handed over to each of those countries. We have handed over [the information] to many countries around the world, and we have also done so with Ecuador,” Bermudez said.
Ecuador has said that the restoration of diplomatic relations with Colombia is dependent on Colombian authorities handing over Raul Reyes’ hard drives, which allegedly contain evidence of collaboration between Correa’s government and Colombian guerrilla group the FARC.
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe promised at a heads of states’ meeting in Mexico in February that Colombia would provide Ecuador with information on the Colombian army’s raid on a FARC camp in Ecuador on March 1, 2008.
FARC leader Raul Reyes and 26 others, including an Ecuadorian, were killed in the raid, which prompted Ecuador to sever diplomatic ties with Colombia.
A “Commission on Sensitive Subjects” was formed at the Mexico summit, with the intention of addressing bones of contention between the two countries and repairing severed diplomatic relations.
Ecuador’s main request is that Colombia provide more information on allegations of FARC activity within its borders, as well as handing over the Raul Reyes’ hard drives and other evidence allegedly found during the 2008 raid.
Both countries accused the other of failing to police the border region, which was plagued by illegal armed groups with links to drug trafficking. Relations between two countries began to improve after talks in September last year.