“President Uribe prevented me from extracting Ivan Marquez from Venezuela, it was a…planned operation and he prevented it,” Gabriel Silva, Colombia’s former Defense Minister from 2009 to 2010, told local media outlets.
Ivan Marquez is currently FARC’s lead negotiator during the ongoing peace talks with the Colombian government. The guerrilla leader was believed to have been hiding in Venezuelan territory from 2009 to 2010.
His capture would have represented a significant, if largely symbolic, achievement for the Uribe administration.
Asked to speculate on what would have happened if Colombian authorities had apprehended Marquez, Silva said, “I do not know. I think one has to abide by what the boss says.”
Silva also accused Uribe of scolding him for authorizing intelligence operations against Venezuela to verify that Colombia’s neighbor was not preparing for invasion.
Uribe responded to Silva’s criticism, branding his former cabinet appointee a “useless bureaucrat” and a “climber”.
Following the election of Juan Manuel Santos in 2010, Silva went on to serve as Colombia’s ambassador to the United States. While he resigned from the post in June, Silva remains a supporter of Santos and his efforts to broker a deal with FARC.