Venezuela-Colombia crisis continues

Monday, January 24, 2005

South America — Colombia and Venezuela continue to clash over the circumstances of the announced arrest of Rodrigo Granda, alleged leader of the FARC. Colombia released a list of terrorists harbored by Venezuela and a recording of a conversation between alleged members of the FARC. Venezuela said it will request the extradition of terrorists in Colombia. In Caracas a march was scheduled by thousands of activists supporting the President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez and protesting against the USA. President Chavez appeared on television to accuse the USA of being behind the Colombian accusations. The head of the Colombian Police was traveling in a helicopter when it came under attack by forces of the FARC.

Colombia is supported by the USA in opposing the FARC who are believed to be involved in international drug trade. Venezuela is allegedly supported by the Foro de São Paulo as member states, along with Brazil, Cuba and the FARC.

Colombia released proofs of the FARC activities in Venezuela

According to the Colombian Radio Caracol, La Fiscalía General de la Nación (Attorney General) of Colombia revealed proofs of FARC activities in Venezuela (January 21). The evidence includes the recording of a telephone conversation between two presumed guerrillas, and a list with the names of seven members from FARC and one individual from Ejército de Liberación Nacional (the National Liberation Army, or ELN) who Colombia claims are continuously in Venezuelan territory. (  audio)

The names of the alleged terrorists, and the crimes Colombia accuses them of, are:

  1. Aldo Manuel Moscote Fragoso, alias Lucas Iguarán. 4 pending processes by the crimes of rebelín and terrorism.
  2. Emilio del Carmen Ropero Suárez, alias Rubén Zamora. He has 10 pending processes by the crimes of kidnapping extorsivo and terrorism.
  3. Germán Briceño Suárez, alias Gran Noble. 11 pending processes, required by the crimes of homicide, terrorism, extorsivo drug trafficking, kidnapping and empowering of airship.
  4. Jesús Elimio Carvajalino, alias Andrés Paris. 9 pending processes by the crimes of rebellion, terrorism, kidnapping, homicide and traffic of arms.
  5. Luciano Marín Arango, alias Iván Márquez. 133 pending processes. Crimes:kidnapping and extorsion, terrorism, homicide, illicit recruitment.
  6. Luis Edgar Debia Silva, alias Raul Kings. 178 pending processes: violation and violent sexual act, terrorism, rebellion, destruction of protected goods, kidnapping, illicit recruitment, described theft, empowering of airship and drug trafficking.
  7. Seusis Hernández, alias Juan Santrich. It has a pending process by the crimes of concert to break the law, rebellion and illicit recruitment.
From ELN
  1. Nicolás Rodríguez Bautistas, alias Gabino. 17 pending processes by the crimes of kidnapping and extorsion, forced disappearance, rebellion, theft, homicide and tortures.

This list was sent to the government of Venezuela.

The Colombian Caracol Radio also obtained the recording of the telephone call in which, according to the Colombian authorities, alias Juan Santrich, presumed member of the General Staff of the FARC, talks with alias Jorge Tivieras. Both men speak in key on the preparation of a political forum that was carried out in the Venezuelan capital in the first days of December. About a hundred guerrillas were at this event, according to the interpretation of the Colombian authorities. This information would be sent to Ivan Marquez, of the secretaryship of the FARC. In the same conversation it is spoken of the attendance of an indigenous delegation. During the event apparently propaganda would have been distributed and a declaration against president of Colombia Álvaro Uribe was prepared, although the interlocutors do not mention him by name.

The recording can be heard   here.

The Colombian newspaper El Pais reported in a January 23 news release the helicopters in which the head of the Colombian Police general Jorge Castro and other government officials traveled were attacked by ground forces loyal to the FARC when it flew over a zone of illegal farms in the center-west of the country. No injuries or damage were reported.

Venezuela responds to Colombia

After officially receiving from Colombia the list of guerrillas from the FARC and the ELN the Government of Venezuela announced by the Venezuelan minister of the Interior, Jesse Chacón that will request to Colombia the capture and extradition of several ex-military and political leaders in Colombia. They are accused of terrorism by Venezuela. Also Chacón announced that his government will study the documentation presented by Colombia.

The Venezuelan Minister advanced some names in the list he will send: Felipe Rodríguez (retired general of the National Guard) alias "El Cuervo" accused of the attack against the consulate of Colombia in Caracas and the industralist Pedro Carmona, who self-proclaimed president of Venezuela after the coup of April of 2002 in Venezuela. The Venezuelan Vice-President José Vicente Rangel said the list of terrorists sent by Colombia to Venezuela was frustrating. According to him the list should be completed with the names of Colombian drug-dealers and paramilitary forces who usually enters Venezuelan territory.

The president of the Venezuelan National Assembly Mature Nicholas denounced a multimillionaire campaign against Hugo Chávez. He explained the campaign would be being supported by a sector of the Government of the United States from the halting of the guerrilla Rodrigo Granda: "This campaign has a planning component and execution on the part of the CIA".

"They are going to use it in an international show to indicate it like a species of witness who will contribute testimony in against of Venezuela, our democracy to justify and to give veracity to the denunciations that the government (of Alvaro) Uribe has removed from last hour".

Mature added that they had information on a new scandal that will be promoted as of the next week from the testimonies that a person of name "Sonia" (protected by USA laws and tied to drug trafficking crimes) will give.

A march of thousands of supporters to President Hugo Chávez was schedulled to January 23 in Caracas, Venezuela. The activivists demand respect to the sovereignty of Venezuela, support the Venezuelan governor in the crisis with Colombia and protest against the USA.

According to Venezuelan newspaper El Universal in national chain of radio and television Chávez said that the case of the kidnapping of Rodrigo Granda "is a new attack of North American imperialism". He accused the "imperialistic government of the USA " "in a hurry run to defend this upsetting and this vulgarity, in addition to the government of Colombia". He described the Secretary of State of the USA, Condoleezza Rice, as "illiterate" to not know what it is happening in Venezuela. He said that the United States is "the force more negative than can have for this world". [1]


There is some uncertainty about the date of some events.

2004 - December

  • 13: FARC-EP member Rodrigo Granda is arrested by Colombian authorities.
  • 15: The Colombian National Police director Jorge Daniel Castro says Granda was arrested in Cúcuta, Colombia.
  • 16: Sources of the Cúcuta police say Granda was arrested in a city hotel.
  • 17: Another source of the Cúcuta police says Granda was arrested in a street of the Norte de Santander capital, Colombia.
  • 30: The FARC say Granda was kidnapped.

2005 - January

  • 3: The FARC demand Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to begin a investigation.
  • 5: Venezuelan Minister Jesse Chacón says that Venezuela didn't take part in the capture of Granda.
  • 5: The Colombian Minister of Defense Jorge Alberto Uribe says that Colombian forces captured Granda inside Colombian territory.
  • 6: The Colombian President Álvaro Uribe also says that Colombian forces captured Granda inside Colombian territory.
  • 9: The Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says that the Colombian police lies about the Granda capture.
  • 12: The Colombian Minister of Defense Jorge Alberto Uribe says that a reward was paid for Granda. He reiterates that Colombian forces captured Granda inside Colombian territory.
  • 13: The National Police director Jorge Daniel Castro says that Colombian authorities didn't take part of the arrestment of Granda in Caracas, Venezuela.
  • 13: Chavez says that Venezuelan ambassador should leave Bogotá in Colombia.

See also