An alliance between Colombia’s two largest rebel groups, FARC and ELN, is impossible because of the groups’ disagreements, specifically those concerning control over drug trafficking, Colombian Armed Forces commander Freddy Padilla said Thursday.
The two rebel groups announced on Wednesday they are moving towards an alliance to deal “firmly and belligerently” with the government of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.
Padilla told Caracol Radio he considers the rebel statement nothing more than propaganda and considers the chances for success of such an alliance slim.
“You can not mislead or surprise Colombians. This alliance is impossible. They have had disputes over control of territories used for drug trafficking. They have been killing each other in the south of Bolivar and in Arauca,” the official said.
Colombia’s armed forces, backed by the right-wing President Alvaro Uribe and U.S. financial and intelligence support, have dealt serious blows to both guerrilla organizations after peace talks with the FARC failed in 2002.