Uribe defends general over Ecuador bombing

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe defends armed forces commander General Freddy Padilla after Ecuador linked him with the 2008 cross-border raid on FARC camp in Ecuador, which killed guerrilla leader “Raul Reyes.”

“It is inexplicable that the sister republic Ecuador through its administration of justice insists on linking ex-ministers and top officials with criminals when they have done a heroic job against terrorism,” the president said at a ceremony attended by members of Ministry of the Interior and Justice.

“Who is the criminal, General Padilla or Reyes?”

Uribe added that he was pleased that Ecuador was helping out in the fight against drug traffickers and guerrillas and stated that “we from our hearts want the full restoration of relations.”

However, the president said that he could not abandon General Padilla and insisted that “we cannot let them send assassins from abroad to abuse Colombians in the Montes de Maria [a famously violent area in northern Colombia].”

The Colombian president has previously defended Colombian military officials who are subject to criminal investigations in Ecuador over the bombing on Ecuadorean soil. President-elect Juan Manuel Santos is wanted by an Ecuadorean court over the attack.

The incident led to the freezing of diplomatic relations between the neighboring Andean nations, with Ecuador claiming that Colombia had undermined its sovereignty.

The two nations began to work at restoring severed ties in September 2009.

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