Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said Monday with in an interview with W Radio that his country is disposed to re-establish ties with Colombia, now that Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has handed over files belonging to deceased FARC leader “Raul Reyes,” which were found following the Colombian army’s 2008 raid on a FARC camp on Ecuadorean territory.
Correa confirmed that Santos’ administration had handed over Raul Reyes’ files on Saturday. He said that once information on the raid has been analyzed, “we will re-establish relations with the ambassadors,” which will take “less than six months.”
The Ecuadorean head of state added that while he is prepared to move forward and restore relations, he “will never forget how they bombed my country, I will never forgive those who bombed my country.”
According to Correa, Colombia tried to justify the 2008 attack – which led Ecuador to sever ties – by trying to link Ecuador to the FARC and “launched a campaign on a global level that we were accomplices.”
Correa also commented on attempts by an Ecuadorean court to arrest and try Santos and former commander of the armed forces General Freddy Padilla, for their complicity in the 2008 raid. Santos was Colombian defense minister at the time of the attack.
“The crime needs to be pesecuted and Santos is linked to that… unfortunately we can’t interfere in that. We will have to wait until the investigation by the Ecuadorean penal system finishes,” Correa said.
While a warrant has been issued for Santos’ arrest regarding the raid, now that he is president he has diplomatic immunity and can travel to Ecuador without fear of being apprehended.
Correa added that he was prepared to help mediate in the diplomatic crisis between Colombia and Venezuela.
Ecuador had previously required that Colombia hand over Reyes’ files before restoring relations could be attempted.