“Don’t put a single foot onto Ecuadorean territory,” Correa told international media today at the presidential palace in Quito. “Enough is enough.”Ecuador’s official policy is to remain neutral in Colombia’s decades of civil strife. A March 1 Colombian raid on a rebel camp inside Ecuador, killing about two dozen people including the group’s No.2 leader, Raúl Reyes, led Correa to sever diplomatic ties with President Alvaro Uribe‘s government.”We won’t allow any regular or irregular foreign force to abuse Ecuadorean soil,” Correa said. “If we find patrols, or FARC camps, on Ecuadorean ground, it will be considered an act of war.”Colombia has said that computers captured in the raid revealed ties between the Correa administration and the FARC. Yesterday, it published a video showing Reyes congratulating an absent Correa on his electoral victory in late 2006.The video was as meaningless as one of a drug trafficker congratulating Uribe would be, Correa said. He first heard of Reyes when Uribe called him on March 1 to inform him of the raid, he said.At the same time, Ecuador remains willing to cooperate to help secure the release of hostages held by the FARC, he added. “We demand the unconditional release of the hostages,” he said.Ecuador will also set up electronic surveillance equipment to monitor the border in a bid to reduce the toll on its own security forces, Correa said.”A large part of the population, above all in Amazonia on the Colombian and Ecuadorean sides, support the FARC because the Colombian and Ecuadorean states don’t reach them, and the ones who provide jobs in drug cultivation, etc., are the FARC,” Correa said. Development, rather than military action, is the best way to combat the rebels, he said.Foreign lenders have said they will forgive $30 million in debt if Ecuador invests the money in border regions, Correa said.
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