The Panamanian governments of Mireya Moscoso (1999 – 2004) and Martin Torrijos (2004 – 2009) were talking to Colombian guerrilla group FARC to avoid violence spilling over the border, a newspaper from that country reported on Sunday.
According to Panamanian newspaper La Prensa, the names of the presidents were found in 33 documents allegedly found on the computer of Raul Reyes, a prominent FARC commander who was killed by Colombian armed forces in March 2008.
Sources within these armed forces leaked the files related to the Panamanian presidents to La Prensa, the newspaper says.
Reyes’ alleged files show that the contact was made under the government of Moscoso and that Panama agreed to “not oppose” guerrilla presence in its territory and to not extradite captured FARC rebels to Colombia.
Moscoso denies having had contact with the FARC and assures that “at no time we supported the FARC.”
“We have always worked with the Colombian government against the FARC. We have never mingled with these men,” the former president added.
The article in La Prensa comes two days after statements by current president Ricardo Martinelli according to who the former governments had a “friendly deal” with drug traffickers and guerrillas, but that this under his government had ended.