Ecuador’s Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patiño, admitted on Thursday that there are still difficulties in the process of normalizing relations between Colombia and Ecuador, reported newspaper EcoDiario.
Patiño explained that the main issue keeping the two countries from moving forward is Colombia’s refusal to hand over the hard drives of slain FARC leader “Raul Reyes” that were captured by Colombia during its 2008 attack on a FARC camp in Ecuadorian territory.
Colombia’s decision to not hand over the hard drives, Patiño explained, “is very difficult for us to accept.”
According to Patiño, “The information (hard drives) is Ecuador’s, we need all of the information, those hard drives were on Ecuadorean territory when they were illegitimately taken to Colombia. The Colombian government cannot deny us the information.”
Colombia, earlier this month, announced that they will not hand over to Ecuador the hard drives belonging to “Raul Reyes,” because the prosecutor general is using them as evidence.
Colombia and Ecuador set out on a road map to normalize relations following a meeting between the two Andean nations’ presidents in February at a summit in Mexico.
Ecuador’s main request, before moving forward with normalizing relations, which were broken off following the March 1, 2008 Colombian incursion into Ecuadorean territory while pursuing guerrillas, 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.
The Ecuadorean minister admitted that, “In all sincerity, I do not see a compromise anytime soon” between the two countries.