Ecuadorean Security Minister Miguel Carvajal announced that Ecuador plans to reinforce security at its common border with Colombia, following the FARC attack that left at least six police dead in the south Colombian Putumayo department last Friday.
Carvajal recalled that Ecuador had strengthened its security presence after a 2008 Colombian army incursion onto Ecuadorean soil, in which 25 people, including FARC leader “Raul Reyes” were killed.
“We’re going to maintain that policy, that military presence, but at the same time have a stronger state presence,” Carvajal said. The security minister reiterated Quito’s desire that Bogota increase its security along the border, where Ecuador has some 7,000 soldiers stationed.
“We thereby hope to stabilize the border, to be able to control any irregular activity that could clandestinely affect our country,” Carvajal said.
Following the FARC attack on the Putumayo town of San Miguel, just kilometers from the border with Ecuador, the neighbor nations agreed to put their Bi-national Border Commission (Combifron) into force.
Ecuador and Colombia reactivated Combifron in October 2009, as a step towards repairing ties that Ecuador broke after the 2008 incursion. The commission allows for regular meetings between the military commanders of both countries and the quick and secure exchange of information to fight crime.
“Combifron has been in effect for almost a year … they have had normal and permanent meetings and it exists for when situations just like that which occurred last Friday occur,” Carvajal said.