U.S. Defense Department official Frank Mora Thursday called the FARC a threat to countries bordering Colombia, and said that Venezuela has done little to help combat the guerrilla organization.
Mora, deputy assistant defense secretary for western hemisphere affairs, said during a press conference in Bogota that the FARC “is a threat,” especially “for Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Peru,” reports Terra.
The press conference followed Mora’s seventh meeting with Colombian defense officials.
During the press conference, Mora applauded the recent cooperation between Colombia and Ecuador in the fight against the FARC and narco-traffickers, but complained about the inaction from Venezuela, saying “Venezuela should combat this scourge.”
Colombia and other countries have accused Venezuela of having ties to the FARC, and of harboring key figures of the internationally-recognized terrorist organization within their borders.
Mora also recognized the achievements Colombia that has made in its battle against the FARC and narco-traffickers, but said that “the threats and challenges [from illegal groups] are transnational and unconventional, and require responses [which match them] in this regard. Narco-trafficking knows no borders … [and] for this, it requires the collaboration not only of the United States, but all of the countries in the region.”
In regards to allegations from a Spanish court of FARC – ETA cooperation, Mora noted that no-one should be surprised by the relationship, because “illegal groups don’t act alone and look for [this type of] cooperation.”
Mora said that Colombia has become a leader in the fight against narco-trafficking, and is an “exporter of lessons learned,” and that Colombia currently “provides training” on this topic to Mexico and Panama.
In addition, Colombia has provided numerous training and consultancy services to other countries affected by illegally armed groups, like Paraguay, Afghanistan, and six Western African countries.
For this, Mora concluded, “we are interested in continuing our collaboration with this Andean country in order to continue exporting the lessons learned to other countries.”