The foreign minister of Colombia stated Tuesday that relations between Colombia and Ecuador remain strong despite an Ecuadorean murder trial against senior members of the Colombian military.
Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin said that in spite of the trial, Colombia’s relationship with Ecuador is “very good.” According to Holguin, Colombia and Ecuador have “a very solid relationship of dialogue and cooperation” and that the government of Ecuador understands that the defense of Colombia’s accused officials is her country’s primary concern.
Holguin’s announcement came after the Ecuadorean regional court of Sucumbios opened a murder trial against several senior Colombian military officials for their roles in a 2008 raid in Ecuadorean territory. The operation led to the deaths of Raul Reyes, second in command of FARC forces, and at least 20 other people.
Following the raid, Ecuador severed ties with Colombia for two years.
The regional court acted independently of both the Ecuadorean national government and its national judiciary. The Ecuadorian foreign ministry has protested the trial and contests the regional court’s jurisdiction over the affair.
Holguin issued her statement the day after Ecuadorean authorities, acting on Colombian intelligence, captured Fabio Ramírez Artunduaga, alias “Danilo,” leader of the FARC 48th front in Quito. Extradition proceedings have begun against Danilo, and he is expected to be transferred to Colombia within the week.