But they may get sidetracked by an issue not on the agenda: Colombia’s raid on a rebel camp inside Ecuador earlier this spring.The meeting is set to begin Friday, the day after Interpol announces the results of an investigation into allegations that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa collaborated with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.Chavez, Correa and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe are all expected to attend the Lima-based summit of nearly 60 leaders and top officials from Latin America, Europe and the Caribbean.Colombia says it found documents pointing to a connection between the two leftist presidents and the FARC on laptops belonging to FARC leader Raul Reyes, who was killed in the March 1 cross-border raid.Both Chavez and Correa deny the claims. Correa even cast doubt on the authenticity of the computers, suggesting they may have been planted by the Colombians.The raid prompted Correa to sever diplomatic relations with Uribe’s government. In a European tour this week, Correa said he would consider restoring ties only if Uribe halts “Colombia’s verbal aggression.””They already assaulted us with bombs,” he said. “Now they’re assaulting us with words.”Ricardo Vega Llona, who organized this week’s event for the Peruvian government, said public displays of anger — such as when King Juan Carlos of Spain told Chavez to “shut up” at a Chilean summit six months ago — are unlikely this time around since the meeting’s working sessions will be private.That could bode well for progress on the summit’s stated goals to fight poverty — a top priority of the Latin American and Caribbean nations — and slow global warming, a key interest of the Europeans.”We want to make Latin America a trustworthy ally in the struggle against global warming,” European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Wednesday after meeting with Peruvian President Alan Garcia.The commission plans to announce EuroClima, a $7.7 million fund for Latin American projects aimed at stemming climate change.Garcia and other Latin American leaders are expected to raise the issue of soaring food prices and their impact on efforts to reduce poverty.”We have to turn our eyes to food production and leave aside or regulate this change in the use of land to produce ethanol, which is causing great world damage,” Garcia said in an interview published Tuesday.
The future of Colombia Reports is under threat. The country's largest independent news website needs your help. Please become our patron.