“I cannot guarantee that there is no infiltration of the FARC [in Ecuador]” Correa told Ecuadorian network Gama TV.
The head of state promised to respect Colombia’s sovereignty if authorities discover any FARC camps.
“We will arrest them, we will not kill them. If self-defense is necessary, our soldiers will have to respond,” said the president.
Ecuador’s 700km border with Colombia is in large part jungle terrain, and guerrilla camps are difficult to detect.
The pursuit of FARC rebels within its borders by Colombia caused a diplomatic crisis between the two countries in 2008.
Colombian forces, under the guidance of then Defense Minister, now President Juan Manuel Santos, crossed the Ecuadorean border and killed 21 alleged rebels, including FARC second-in-command Luis Edgar Devia Silva, alias “Raul Reyes.”
Colombian officials accused Ecuador and Venezuela of harboring the guerrilla group. Correa fervently denied the claims and was outraged over a move he thought infringed upon his country’s sovereignty.
Relations have seemingly improved since the 2010 election of Santos, who blamed his predecessor, Alvaro Uribe of not making enough effort to bolster diplomacy between the two South American nations.
Santos and Correa officially announced the resumption of bilateral trade and more open border crossings in December 2011.