Colombian bloggers are closely following the events unleashed by the Colombian army's incursion into Ecuadorian territory. Fear of war is palpable throughout the discussions on the legitimacy of the attack and its repercussions, the unveiling of computer files establishing nexus between the Ecuadorian and Venezuelan governments and the FARC and the knowledge of 50 KGs of Uranium that the FARC allegedly has.
equinoXio, a longstanding ” independent, non partisan Online Digital Magazine” whose English version was recently launched February 3rd, has done a thorough job following the unfolding events in their Spanish version, with a few articles already being translated into English.
In their article “FARC number 2 has been killed in combat near Colombia-Ecuador border” they write:
Luis Édgar Devia Silva, aka Raúl Reyes, the number 2 commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), has been killed by security forces, Colombian Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos said Saturday morning.According to Mr Santos, “human sources and information verified by the State's intelligence” told Colombian authorities that guerrilla fighters from FARC's 48th front would meet with Reyes in Granada, a place near Colombia's border with Ecuador on Friday night. An joint operation of Colombia's Military Forces and National Police was held starting at 0:25 local time (5:25 UTC) on Saturday.
Colombian Air Force bombed a guerrilla camp, located 1.8 km from the border inside Ecuador, near Santa Rosa, from Colombia's air space. Guerrilla responded with shooting, killing one Colombian soldier, Carlos Hernández León. According to Santos, Raúl Reyes and Guillermo Enrique Torres, aka Julián Conrado, with other 15 guerrillas, were killed. Their corpses were recovered by Colombian authorities, after the camp was surrounded and Ecuadorian Armed Forces arrived there.
In equinoXio‘s other article, “Colombia will not send troops to borders to Ecuador and Venezuela” they inform about one of the important issues that has bloggers commenting on possible justifications for the incursion into Ecuador; the belief that they may be helping the FARC terrorists:
Around one hour later, Colombian National Police Director, general Óscar Naranjo, saidReyes, whose content, according to a preliminary report, shows ties between Quito and FARC, through Gustavo Larrea, Ecuador's Internal and External Security minister. The documents (PDF), letters written by Reyes and addressed to the FARC Secretariat, involve some alleged commitments by Ecuador with FARC, which had promised to deliver Correa Army corporal Pablo Emilio Moncayo, kidnapped in 1997, for Mr Correa to become another mediator between the terrorist group and the Colombian government. Ecuadorian officials have denied the claims.
Alejandro Peláez [es] compares Colombia to Israel:
Por ahora todo es retórica y show. Gritarle al imperio, vestirse de rojo, llamar lacayos a todos, comprar armamento a Rusia y tractores a Irán. Pero mientras Chávezse embadurnaba de retórica geopolítica, Colombia actúaba y bombardeaba un campamento de guerrilleros por fuera de sus fronteras al estilo israelí.
Ahora si se ha pasado de una jugada de Risk a las acciones reales. Colombia -en la mente de Hugo- es Israel y Venezuela, supone uno, viene siendo Irán. Y entonces ¿que pasará? por ahora nada.
For the moment, all of it is rhetoric and show. Yell at the empire, dress in red, call everyone a lackey, buy weaponry from Russia and trucks from Iran. But while Chávez was slathering himself in geopolitical rhetoric, Colombia was acting and bombing a guerrilla encampment outside its borders in the Israeli style.
Now this has stepped out of Risk strategy plays to real actions. Colombia -in Hugo's [Chavez] mind- is Israel and Venezuela, one can suppose- is something like Iran. And then what happens? Nothing for now.
Pala Labra [es] reflects an opinion echoed by other Colombian bloggers who believe that the political misunderstandings with Ecuador could be better dealt with if Hugo Chávez, Venezuela´s President, kept to the sidelines:
La verdad a mi no me importa mucho ni el socialismo, ni soy Uribista, ni nada. Soy de la mentalidad de que todo el mundo puede tener la razón, como dice Fito, “No pertenezco a ningún Ismo”. Pero hay cosas que definitivamente me chocan… ayer escuchando a este tipo, cosa que hice sólo porque mi papá tenía el televisor prendido, me imaginaba yo a Myriam mi vecina destrozando a mi familia en la asamblea simplemente porque no está de acuerdo con que comamos cereal al desayuno, articulando una guerra mientras los demás vecinos la aplauden vigorosamente. La verdad es que Myriam no sabe qué comemos al desayuno y creo que no le importa, al menos no tanto como para hacer un escándalo semejante. También sé que el ejemplo es demasiado simple, pero fue lo primero que pensé en ese momento. Y es porque en general me molesta muchísimo la gente que se mete donde no la han llamado.
Truth of the matter is that I don't care much for socialism, I'm not pro Uribe, or anything. I'm of the school of thought that believes that everybody in the world could be right, as Fito says, “I don't belong to any -ism”. But there are some things that certainly make me mad… yesterday I was listening to that guy [Chavez], only because my dad had the tv on, and I was imagining my neighbor Myriam completely shredding my family during assemby simply because she doesn´t agree that we should be eating cereal at breakfast, articulating a war while the other neighbors clap vigorously. As a matter of fact, Myriam doesn´t know what we eat at breakfast and it isn´t any of her business, at least not enough to make such a racket. I also know my example is extremely simple, but it was the first thing that came to mind. Just because in general, it really annoys me when people get into other people´s affairs with no invitation.
Mauricio Duque Arrubla [es] reads around the blogosphere to see what others have been saying about this conflict and wishes to clear things up a bit:
Pero pareciera para muchos extranjeros que el problema en Colombia es si hay o no hay acuerdo humanitario.
Con todo el respeto a los secuestrados y sus familias ese no es el problema. Hay muchos problemas antes de la liberación de los secuestrados (las farc, los paras, el hambre, la desigualdad, la corrupción). No quiere decir que los solucionemos en ese orden y si logramos la liberación de los secuestrados sería mejor noticia que la muerte de ese tipo.
Pero con preocupación leo que lo que piensan muchos europeos es que con la desaparición del asesino se envolata el acuerdo. ¿Y lo demás? No existe para ellos. Y el malo siempre es el gobierno nunca los delincuentes del otro lado.
Se perdió el sentido de las proporciones.
PS: Por más que el gobiero colombiano tuviera razones de sobra para hacer lo que hizo, estuvo mal hecho. El fin no justifica los medios. Pero que lo que pasó es una buena noticia no lo niego. Lo que viene puede no ser tan bueno pero ahí vamos viendo.
But it seems that for many foreigners, the problem in Colombia is if there is or isn´t a humanitarian agreement.
With all due respect to the hostages and their families, that is not the problem. There are many problems coming before the liberation of the hostages (the farc, the paramilitary groups, hunger, inequality, corruption). That doesn´t meen that we have to solve them in that order and that if we manage to get the hostages freed that would be even better news than this man´s death. [Raul Reyes, 2nd in command for the FARC]
But with concern I read that what many Europeans think is that with the dissappearance of this murderer, the agreement dissappears as well. ¿What about the rest? It doesn´t exist for them. And the bad guy always turns out to be the government, never the delinquents on the other end.
Sense of proportion has been completely lost.
PS. Even though the colombian government had reason enough to do what it did, it was wrongly done. The end doesn´t justify the means. But what happened was very good news, that I can´t deny. What seems to be coming can´t be too good, but we´ll have to see.
Víctor Solano [es] has taken to the task and built a timeline of the events that led to this conflict which has Colombians biting their nails. However, even more eye opening than the post itself, are the comments, where people are heatedly debating the timeline as well as the allegations of the 50 KG of Uranium that the FARC received aided by Venezuela. The source of this Uranium is one of the topics:
Básicamente el Uranio en poder de las FARC salió del robo de equipos médicos que utilizan ese material radiactivo. Hace algunos años, se registró una extraña oleada en la que fueron robadas varias fuentes de poder de aparatos para el diagnóstico clínico. Las autoridades, en ese momento, solo atinaron a prevenir a los ciudadanos sobre las consecuencias para la salud de estar en contacto con el elemento.
Basically, the Uranium in the FARC´s hands came from radioactive materials used in medical equipment which during a misterious tide of thefts these power sources for clinical diagnoses were stolen a few years ago. The authorities, at the time, only managed to warn the general population regarding the health risks that being in contact with this element bring.
Carla Mariela [es] from Venezuela, provides another theory, that its source is Venezuela itself:
La noticia que más me llamó la atención ayer fue la del URANIO, no sabía lo de los robos a equipos médicos, pero si me había enterado que desde hace unos años se han dado movimientos de tierra en el sur de Venezuela en las área del Cerro Impacto, este cerro tiene grandes concentraciones del mineral precursor del URANIO, Venezuela no lo exporta oficialmente y tampoco tiene oficialmente medios para procesarlo, pero ahora la coincidencia me parece super grave.
The note that most called my attention yesterday was that of the Uranium. I didn´t know about the medical equipment theft, but I did hear that for a few years now there have been land movements in the Venezuelan south in the area near Cerro Impacto. This mount has great concentrations of the mineral form of Uranium. Venezuela doesn´t export it officially and they officially don´t have the means to process it, but now this coincidence strikes me as quite serious.
On another comment, blogger Villa Noticias [es] tells that at the border with Venezuela at Villa del Rosario, cars with Colombian license plates are not being allowed to cross and that Venezuelan military personnel is patrolling the border. In his blog, he posts a picture of the military standing at their side of the Táchira river border.for
In the political analysis blog Colombia Hoy [es], they have come to a conclusion: what originally seemed a plan to simply kill a terrorist leader became a means to unveil the political support the FARC has been receiving from other countries.
En un segundo momento comienza a hacerse evidente que la operación militar tenía un horizonte mucho más amplio. En efecto, la destrucción del campamento de Reyes en territorio del Ecuador buscaba poner en evidencia ante la comunidad internacional, primero, la presencia de las FARC en aquél país y, segundo, destapar las relaciones entre las FARC y algunos gobiernos de la región.
Ese era el objetivo estratégico de la operación: golpear políticamente a Chávez y a Correa, y denunciar su relación con las FARC.
At a second glance, it becomes evident that the military operation had an ampler horizon. In fact, the destruction of the Reyes camp in Ecuadorian land sought to bring out into the light before the international community, first, the presence of the FARC in that country and second, to unveil the relations between the FARC and other governments in the region.
That was the strategic objective of the operation: to politically affect Chávez and Correa, and denounce their relation with the FARC.