Venezuelan officials are still helping Colombia’s largest rebel
group FARC, U.S. newspaper the New York Times reported Sunday after
reviewing files Colombian authorities say come from seized rebel
According to the newspaper, guerrillas and high-ranking military and intelligence officials in Hugo Chavez’s government as recently as several weeks ago are collaborating on a detailed level.
The revelations come at a time relations between Colombia and Venezuela are at a low point, because of Colombian accusations the Venezuelan armed forces supplied the FARC with rocket launchers. Venezuela denies this and threatens to suspend trade with its neighbor while having recalled its ambassador in Bogota.
The intelligence material, given to the newspaper by “an intelligence agency that is analyzing it,” says rebel commander Ivan Marques was in contact with Venezuela’s former intelligence chief General Henry Rangel Silva and former Interior Minister Ramon Rodriguez Chacin to buy surface-to-air missiles, sniper rifles and radios in Venezuela last year.
The NYT article comes a day after Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that the Rafael Correa, President of Colombia’s other neighbor, Ecuador, had received US$400,000 in cash from the rebels. The newspaper also based their allegations on material seized by Colombia’s armed forces.