Fighting Crime, A Priority in Colombian-Ecuadorean Relations
By Dialogo January 19, 2011Fighting crime along their shared border is one of the key topics on the agenda between Colombia and Ecuador, which fully restored diplomatic relations on 26 November, Bogotá’s ambassador in Quito, Fernando Arboleda, said on 17 January.
“Security is one of the priority issues in managing bilateral relations at the moment,” indicated Arboleda, who will shortly present his credentials to Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa.
Arboleda indicated that there already exist “established binational instances and bodies,” such as the Binational Border Commission (Combifron), “that carry out joint tasks directed toward getting on top of this aspect of security” along the 720-km border.
The diplomat indicated to reporters that this issue covers both “vigilance over penetration by irregular groups that have taken up arms” and “crime in general.”
On 15 January, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos revealed that beginning in 2008, the FARC sought to acquire arms in Brazil, Ecuador, and Venezuela, according to emails belonging to a slain leader of that guerrilla group, and emphasized the importance of “having good relations with our neighbors.”
Colombia and Ecuador reestablished full ties on 26 November, a year after reactivating them at the chargé d’affaires level.
Quito broke off relations as a result of a Colombian bombardment of a clandestine FARC base on its border territory, on 1 March 2008, which killed the guerrilla group’s second-ranking leader, Raúl Reyes, and twenty-four others.