Spain Charges 13 Over ETA-FARC Plot To Kill Colombian President

By Dialogo
March 01, 2010

A Spanish judge Monday charged 13 members of the Basque separatist group ETA
and the Colombian rebel group FARC over a plot to assassinate Colombian officials,
including President Alvaro Uribe.

Judge Eloy Velasco also charged Venezuelan government cooperated in the plot,
according to a copy of his ruling.

He said a member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) had
carried out surveillance on the Colombian embassy in Madrid and the routes taken by
former Colombian president Andres Pastrana, who lives in Spain.

The FARC member reported that "it would not be difficult to carry out an
attack on those two targets as long as they could count on the help of ETA," the
ruling said.

The FARC therefore asked ETA to follow Pastrana, as well as the former
ambassador to Spain Noemi Sanin, current Vice President Francisco Santos, the former
mayor of Bogota Antanas Mockus "with the aim of assassinating one of them when they
were in Spain."

"More recently" Uribe was also added to that list, the ruling said.

The judge charged six suspected members of ETA and seven members of FARC in
connection with the plot.

Among those charged was ETA member Arturo Cubillas Fontan, who was named to a
post in Venezuela's agriculture ministry in 2005 and whose Venezuelan wife, Goizeder
Odriozola Lataillade, is an official in the government of President Hugo Chavez.

Fontan was in charge of ETA operations "in this part of Latin America since
1999" and "coordinated relations between FARC and ETA and the participation of ETA
members in courses on explosives and urban guerrilla warfare," Velasco said.

The judge charged Fontan and two FARC members, Edgar Gustavo Navarro Morales
and Victor Ramon Vargas Salazar, with conspiracy to commit terrorist murders.

Uribe has rejected a political dialogue with the FARC, which has battled the
government in Bogota for 45 years.

ETA, which figures on several terrorist blacklists, including those of the
European Union and the United States, is blamed for 828 deaths in its 41-year
campaign for independence in the Basque region of northern Spain and southwestern

Simmering tensions between Bogota and Caracas have sharpened since Colombia
signed an agreement with Washington last year granting the US military access to
bases on its territory for counter-drug and counter-insurgency operations.

Charging that it was the target of the deal, Venezuela retaliated by freezing
ties with Colombia.