Venezuela gave 300 million dollars to FARC, Colombian official says
( dpa )- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez allegedly gave 300 million dollars to leftist Colombian rebels, Colombian Police director Oscar Naranjo said Monday.
He said evidence was found on computers confiscated from the rebel camp of Raul Reyes, the number two of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) who was killed Saturday in an operation by the Colombian military on Ecuadorian soil.
General Naranjo said a report submitted to the rebel leadership by FARC leader Ivan Marquez spoke of Chavez's contribution, following a two-day meeting with Venezuelan Interior Minister Ramon Rodriguez Chacin.
"In the same way that there is information compromising Ecuadorian Security Minister Gustavo Larrea (in dealings with FARC), there is information compromising Rodriguez Chacin. We have found photographs of people who met with the rebels," Naranjo said.
He also noted that FARC gave some 50,000 dollars to Chavez when he was in prison in the 1990s, following a failed military coup in Venezuela.
According to Naranjo, there is a letter from top FARC leader Manuel Marulanda to Chavez, in which the rebel leader vows to support the Venezuela militarily in case of an attack by the United States.
"That shows the implicit closeness and alliance, in military terms, between FARC and the Venezuelan government," Naranjo said.
He added that leftist Colombian rebels sent illegal drugs to Mexico and traded 50 kilogrammes of uranium.
The killing of Reyes led to a diplomatic crisis between Colombia and Ecuador, and worsened the pre-existing tension between Bogota and Venezuela.
According to an earlier report by the Colombian government, a letter was found in Reyes' computers in which the rebel leader informs the FARC leadership of his contacts with Larrea.
However, the Ecuadorian government denied the allegations and claimed that Colombia is only seeking to distract attention from the gravity of the violation of Ecuadorian sovereignty that it incurred in to kill Reyes.